"I've always dreamed of being a head coach with a franchise rich in tradition like the Redskins," Zorn said. "As a player who had to fight Redskins teams at RFK as well as at our home field, I know about the history of this franchise as well as the passion of its fans. I won't let you down."
"We're proud that our search was diligent, thorough, and
resulted in today's announcement," said team Owner Daniel M.
Snyder. "Jim's track record and reputation as a player, great
teacher, and as a coach makes us confident that they will translate to
for the Redskins."
Zorn, who signed a five-year contract with the team, spent seven
seasons as quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks under Head Coach
Holmgren, where they shared in playoff trips for the past five seasons
Super Bowl appearance. His elevation to head coach at the Redskins
name to Holmgren's "family tree" of quarterback coaches who
moved into the head coaching ranks, joining Andy Reid (directly from
coach to the Eagles head coach), Jon Gruden, Marty Morninweg, and Steve
Mariucci. Holmgren's tree also includes Jim Mora, Dick Jauron, Ray
Rhodes, and Mike Sherman.
Zorn said he was excited about working with the Redskins from the first
moment the team contacted him.
"I know about the history and great fans of the Redskins. I
played against the Redskins. I played against our two newest Hall of
Art Monk and Darrell Green," Zorn said. "I, like all Redskins
fans, am a long-time admirer of Joe Gibbs. Thanks to him, today's
Redskins have a solid foundation that will serve us well. I expect
things of our team, and hold myself accountable for providing the
make us successful."
Zorn broke into the National Football League in 1976 as the first
quarterback for the expansion Seahawks, starting all 14 games and
Rookie of the Year honors. He went on to play nine seasons for the
one year each with the Green Bay Packers, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of
and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring in 1987.
Zorn is one of only eight players in the Seahawks' Ring of Honor.
"Playing experience like Jim's
is an enormous advantage for a head coach," said Gibbs. "Every
move he makes, every play he calls, is based on the foundation of having
actually played in real time and in the face of real opponents. You
can't learn that on the sidelines or in the classroom."
"Dan and Vinny worked extremely hard on this process, and their
research and diligence paid off after many long nights and hard hours.
They're to be congratulated for that," Gibbs said.
"Dan was impressed with Jim
from their first meeting. The first time he talked to me about hiring
Jim I could tell what a strong impression he had
made," Gibbs added. "Jim
was a heck of a player, I know because I had to coach against him. But
everyone also knows what a high-quality person he is, it's the first
thing people tell you."
"I'm also extremely excited about the fact that Dan has
maintained such stability and continuity among the staff. Not just the
coaches, but also the entire infrastructure – strength coaches, medical
staff, and others – that is required to maintain chemistry on a
team," Gibbs said.
The Redskins began their search for a new coach on Jan. 9, following
Gibbs' decision to retire. Snyder, Executive Vice President for
Operations Vinny Cerrato, and other
team officials evaluated more than 50 potential candidates for the head
coaching job over two days and selected 10 for interviews, which began
"We knew of Jim's stellar offensive reputation, so we hired
him as coordinator, but we also suspected he would be a strong
head coach," Snyder said. "After our first six-hour interview with
him, I told Joe (Gibbs), ‘This guy would make a terrific head
"But we stayed true to our commitment to interview every
candidate. That took longer than expected because the Giants kept
through the playoffs. Once we completed our interview with Steve
concluded a day of discussion about all candidates, I called Jim and
asked him to meet for lunch," Snyder
continued. "I told him we were considering him as the next head coach,
and asked if he wanted to move forward. Without hesitation he said
"absolutely," and that's all I needed to hear."
"We spent two days taking Jim through the same interview process
as every other candidate. Those sessions only confirmed my earlier
Joe (Gibbs): Jim Zorn will be a terrific head coach," Snyder said.
"I appreciate our fans' patience during this process. We
promised a full search and we stuck to that promise. I also want to
(Gibbs) for his daily encouragement to stay the course, be patient, and
interview everyone we identified as a potential head coach," Snyder
added. "I also want to thank all the candidates for their time and hard
work. They are all strong coaches and good people."
Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins Executive Vice President of Football
Operations, said, "I'm proud of our work over the past 30 days, and
I'm excited by the outcome. We worked seven days a week, late into the
night. We were thorough, professional, and detailed. Our process was
to identify the best candidate and it did. Jim (Zorn) is the only
coach we offered
the job to, contrary to some reports."
Zorn began his NFL coaching career following nine years as a
quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator at Boise State,
Utah State and the University of Minnesota.
He joined the Seahawks in 1997 as an offensive assistant. The next
moved to the Detroit Lions as quarterbacks coach, where he was
the development of rookie quarterback Charlie Batch. In his rookie
Batch's 88.3 passer rating ranks as the fourth-highest rookie mark in
Holmgren brought Zorn to the Seahawks as quarterbacks coach in 2001,
where he coached current Seahawk quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Trent Dilfer and
Brock Huard. In 2002, Dilfer began the season as the starter, with
stepping in to complete the season. That year, Seattle's passing
attack ranked third
in the NFL and Hasselbeck finished the season ranked first in the NFC
63.7 completion percentage and second in the NFC with a 87.8 passer
With Hasselbeck entrenched as Seattle's
starter, Zorn has worked with Holmgren in implementing the team's
while also continuing the development of the quarterback. Hasselbeck,
perennial Pro Bowler, continues to rank among the NFL's best
quarterbacks. Similarly, the Seahawk's offense regular ranks among the
Zorn, 54, and his wife Joy have four children: Rachel, Sarah,
Danielle, and a son, Isaac. Rachel is married to Neal Mitchell. They
one-month old daughter Hollis Joy.
Jim and Joy Zorn are
active in Medical Teams International and Pro Athletes Outreach.
Medical Teams International is dedicated to implementing and supporting
programs that address the causes and effects of inadequate health care
worldwide. Their teams of medical, dental and other health
volunteer their expertise to serve hospitals and clinics worldwide.
Pro Athletes Outreach is led by former NFL offensive tackle Norm Evans
and his wife Bobbe in its training of professional athletes and their
become leaders in Christ. In 1998 Pro Athletes Outreach expanded its
provide conferences to help train and equip coaches to support their
Press Release: Zorn is Skins' New Head Coach
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