Ken Whisenhunt: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ken Whisenhunt
Date of birth February 28, 1962 (1962-02-28) (age 48)
Place of birth Augusta, Georgia
Position(s) Head coach, Tight end
College Georgia Tech
NFL Draft 1985 / Round 12 / Pick 313
Regular season 27-21-0
Postseason 4-2
Career record 31-22-0
Championships
      won
2008 NFC Championship
Stats
Playing stats Pro Football Reference
Playing stats NFL.com
Playing stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Team(s) as a player
1985-1988
1989-1990
1991-1993
Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins
New York Jets
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1995-1996

1997-1998

1999

2000

2001-2003

2004-2006

2007-present
Vanderbilt University
(special teams & TE coach)
Baltimore Ravens
(tight ends coach)
Cleveland Browns
(special teams coach)
New York Jets
(tight ends coach)
Pittsburgh Steelers
(tight ends coach)
Pittsburgh Steelers
(offensive coordinator)
Arizona Cardinals
(head coach)

Kenneth "Ken" Moore Whisenhunt (born February 28, 1962 in Augusta, Georgia) is the American football head coach of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, leading them to the first Super Bowl in franchise history during the 2008 season. Previously, he was known for his well engineered offensive plays, including the success he had with the Pittsburgh Steelers in his 3 years as their offensive coordinator under Bill Cowher and winning Super Bowl XL during the 2005 season.

Contents

Playing career

After attending the Academy of Richmond County in Augusta, Georgia for high school, Whisenhunt played college football at Georgia Tech (1980-84),[1][2] where he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. During his senior season, he was an honorable mention All-American. He also finished first team all-ACC during his final two college seasons.

Whisenhunt's career as a player included 4 years (1985-88) as a tight end with the Atlanta Falcons, who drafted him in the twelfth round, and then spells with the Washington Redskins and New York Jets. He retired from the league in 1993 after nine seasons in which he was mostly known as a blocking back.

Coaching career

Advertisements

Early career

He began his coaching career at Vanderbilt University, where he coached special teams, tight ends and H-backs for the Commodores from 1995–96. In 1997, he returned to the NFL as the tight ends coach for the Baltimore Ravens. Whisenhunt was a transient in his early years in the league, moving to the staff of the Cleveland Browns in 1999 and to the New York Jets the following season.

Pittsburgh Steelers

In 2001, Whisenhunt was hired by the Steelers to coach their tight ends. He was able to develop players such as Mark Bruener and Jay Riemersma, both considered past their prime, into excellent blocking backs. He took over the role of offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh for the 2004 season after Mike Mularkey became the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Whisenhunt had instant success in his role. While Mularkey was known for creating flashy trick plays, Whisenhunt became more of a cautious innovator, whose well-timed trick plays contrasted the conservative Pittsburgh run game.

Whisenhunt's most famous moment is the trick play he called in Super Bowl XL. With Pittsburgh leading 14-10 over the Seattle Seahawks, Whisenhunt called a wide receiver reverse pass (Antwaan Randle El to Hines Ward, the only TD pass thrown by a WR in Super Bowl history) that allowed Pittsburgh to pull away.

Arizona Cardinals

On January 14, 2007 the Arizona Cardinals hired Whisenhunt as their new head coach, with a contract to receive an average of $2.5 million annually. Whisenhunt had also interviewed for the head coaching position with the Steelers Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins. However, the Rooneys hired the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin. He was previously interviewed to be the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in February 2006, but he pulled out of talks before an offer could be made.[3] The Cardinals showed improvement in Whisenhunt's first season, finishing 8-8 after finishing 5-11 the previous two seasons and losing 10 or more games in seven of the previous eight campaigns. It was their first non-losing season since 1998, though they still failed to make the playoffs.

Going into his second season, Whisenhunt made the decision to go with veteran quarterback Kurt Warner as his starter. In previous seasons, Warner had split time with the team's younger quarterback Matt Leinart, although Warner started the final 11 games of the 2007 season after Leinart suffered a season-ending injury. This decision has paid off as Warner has put up great numbers in leading the Cardinals to a 9-7 regular season record in the 2008 season and the NFC West Division championship, the Cardinals' first division title since 1975, when the team played in St. Louis, and the club's first playoff berth since 1998. After defeating the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers in the first two rounds of the NFC playoffs, the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship on January 18, 2009 and advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, where Whisenhunt formerly occupied the post of offensive coordinator. Whisenhunt's Cardinals lost the game 27-23. Whisenhunt credited the Steelers' players and staff with the win, but cited penalties as a contributing factor to Arizona's loss.

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ARZ 2007 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC West - - - -
ARZ 2008 9 7 0 .560 1st in NFC West 3 1 .750 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.
ARZ 2009 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to New Orleans Saints in NFC Divisional Game.
Total[4] 27 21 0 .563 4 2 .667

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Ken Whisenhunt has served:

Assistant coaches under Ken Whisenhunt who became NFL head coaches:

Personal

Ken and his wife, Alice, have two children: a son Kenneth Jr., and daughter Mary Ashley.

Whisenhunt earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a boy.[5]

References

  1. ^ Bretherton, William (2006-09-01). "Humble start for Whisenhunt". The Technique. http://www.nique.net/issues/2006-09-01/sports/2. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  2. ^ Scott Michaux Coach takes pressure in stride, Augusta Chronicle, January 28, 2009. Retrieved 01-28-2009
  3. ^ "Raiders without Russell in opener". National Football League via Associated Press. 2008-04-11 (written 2007). http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/preview;jsessionid=4264059C0054F0150445F956C7444AC6?game_id=29464&displayPage=tab_preview&season=2007&week=PRE1. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  4. ^ "Kenneth Moore Whisenhunt". Pro Football Reference.com. 2008. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/WhisKe0.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  5. ^ "Eagle Scouts In The News". Eagletter (Irving, TX: National Eagle Scout Association, Boy Scouts of America) 35 (2): 13. Fall 2009. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mike Mularkey
Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator
2004-2006
Succeeded by
Bruce Arians
Preceded by
Dennis Green
Arizona Cardinals Head Coach
2007-
Succeeded by
Incumbent

Simple English

Ken Whisenhunt
Date of birth February 28, 1962 (1962-02-28) (age 48)
Place of birth Augusta, Georgia
Position(s) Head coach, Tight end
College Georgia Tech
NFL Draft 1985 / Round 12 / Pick 313
Career Highlights
Regular Season 17-15-0
Postseason 3-1
Career Record 20-15-0
Championships
      Won
2008 NFC Championship
Playing Stats Pro Football Reference
Playing Stats NFL.com
Playing Stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching Stats Pro Football Reference
Team(s) as a player
1985-1988
1989-1990
1991-1993
Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins
New York Jets
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1995-1996

1997-1998

1999

2000

2001-2003

2004-2006

2007-present
Vanderbilt University
(special teams & TE coach)
Baltimore Ravens
(tight ends coach)
Cleveland Browns
(special teams coach)
New York Jets
(tight ends coach)
Pittsburgh Steelers
(tight ends coach)
Pittsburgh Steelers
(offensive coordinator)
Arizona Cardinals
(head coach)

Kenneth "Ken" Moore Whisenhunt (born February 28, 1962 in Augusta, Georgia) is the American football head coach of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, leading them to the first Super Bowl in ream history during the 2008 season. Before that, he was known for his well-planned offensive plays, including the success he had with the Pittsburgh Steelers in his 3 years as their offensive coordinator under Bill Cowher, in which the Steeers won Super Bowl XL during the 2005 season.

Contents

Playing career

After attending the Academy of Richmond County in Augusta, Georgia for high school, Whisenhunt played college football at Georgia Tech (1980-84),[1][2] where he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. During his senior season, he was an honorable mention All-American. He also finished first team all-ACC during his final two college seasons.

Whisenhunt's career as a player included 4 years (1985-88) as a tight end with the Atlanta Falcons, who drafted him in the twelfth round, and then short periods with the Washington Redskins and New York Jets. He retired from the league in 1993 after nine seasons in which he was mostly known as a blocker.

Coaching career

Early career

He began his coaching career at Vanderbilt University, where he coached special teams, tight ends and H-backs for the Commodores from 1995–96. In 1997, he returned to the NFL as the tight ends coach for the Baltimore Ravens. Whisenhunt changed teams very often in his early years in the league, moving to the staff of the Cleveland Browns in 1999 and to the New York Jets the following season.

Pittsburgh Steelers

In 2001, Whisenhunt was hired by the Steelers to coach their tight ends. He was able to make players such as Mark Bruener and Jay Riemersma, both considered no longer at their best, into great blocking backs. He became offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh for the 2004 season after Mike Mularkey became the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Whisenhunt had instant success in his role. While Mularkey was known for creating exciting trick plays, Whisenhunt became more of a cautious play-caller, whose well-timed trick plays surprised the Steelers' opponents because they were very unlike the conservative Pittsburgh run game.

Whisenhunt's most famous moment is the trick play he called in Super Bowl XL. With Pittsburgh leading 14-10 over the Seattle Seahawks, Whisenhunt called a wide receiver reverse pass (Antwaan Randle El to Hines Ward, the only TD pass thrown by a WR in Super Bowl history) that allowed Pittsburgh to get a big lead, which they did not give away.

Arizona Cardinals

On January 14, 2007 the Arizona Cardinals hired Whisenhunt as their new head coach. The contract he received promised him an average of $2.5 million annually. Whisenhunt had also interviewed for the head coaching position with the Steelers, Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins. In February 2006, the Oakland Raiders were interviewing him to become their new head coach, but Whisenhunt ended the talks before a deal could be offered.[3] The Cardinals were better in Whisenhunt's first season, finishing with 8 wins and 8 losses after finishing with 5 wins and 11 losses the two seasons before that and losing 10 or more games in seven of the previous eight campaigns. It was their first non-losing season since 1998, even though they still failed to make the playoffs.

Before his second season, Whisenhunt made the experienced Kurt Warner his starting quarterback. In Whisenhunt's first season, Warner had split time with the team's younger quarterback Matt Leinart, although Warner started the final 11 games of the 2007 season after Leinart suffered a season-ending injury. This was a good decision because Warner put up good numbers in leading the Cardinals to a 9 win and 7 loss regular season record in the 2008 season. This was good enough to win NFC West Division, the Cardinals' first division title since 1975, when the team played in St. Louis, Missouri. Whisenhunt's second season was also the Cardinals' first time in the playoffs since 1998. After beating the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers in the first two rounds of the NFC playoffs, the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship on January 18, 2009 and advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. This gave Whisenhunt an opportunity to play against the team he used to be the offensive coordinator of. The Cardinals lost the game 27-23. Whisenhunt credited the Steelers' players and staff with the win, but also said penalties were one of the reasons for the loss.

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won LostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
ARZ2007 880.5002nd in NFC West - - - -
ARZ2008 970.5601st in NFC West 3 1 .750 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.
Total[4]17150.530 3 1 .750

Coaching tree

Whisenhunt has worked on the staff of four National Football League coaches. They are:

Whisenhunt has had one future National Football League coach work under him. He was:

Personal

Ken and his wife, Alice, have two children: a son Kenneth Jr., and daughter Mary Ashley.

References

  1. Bretherton, William (2006-09-01). "Humble start for Whisenhunt". The Technique. http://www.nique.net/issues/2006-09-01/sports/2. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  2. Scott Michaux Coach takes pressure in stride, Augusta Chronicle, January 28, 2009. Retrieved 01-28-2009
  3. "Raiders without Russell in opener". National Football League via Associated Press. 2008-04-11 (written 2007). http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/preview;jsessionid=4264059C0054F0150445F956C7444AC6?game_id=29464&displayPage=tab_preview&season=2007&week=PRE1. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  4. "Kenneth Moore Whisenhunt". Pro Football Reference.com. 2008. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/WhisKe0.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 

Other websites

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mike Mularkey
Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator
2004-2006
Succeeded by
Bruce Arians
Preceded by
Dennis Green
Arizona Cardinals Head Coach
2007-
Succeeded by
Incumbent


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message