Dan Quinn
Closeup photo of a man's face
Quinn in 2017
Washington Commanders
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1970-09-11) September 11, 1970 (age 53)
Morristown, New Jersey, U.S.
Career information
High school:Morristown (Morristown)
College:Salisbury (1990–1993)
Career history
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:43–42 (.506)
Postseason:3–2 (.600)
Career:46–44 (.511)
Coaching stats at PFR

Daniel Patrick Quinn (born September 11, 1970) is an American football coach who is the head coach of the Washington Commanders of the National Football League (NFL). He competed in the hammer throw and as a defensive lineman at Salisbury University in the early 1990s before entering coaching. Quinn coached college defensive lines prior to joining the NFL in 2001. He was the defensive coordinator of the Legion of Boom-era Seattle Seahawks in the early 2010s that appeared in two consecutive Super Bowls, winning XLVIII.

Quinn was hired as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. He led the team to Super Bowl LI the following season, where the Falcons surrendered a 28-3 lead, the largest in Super Bowl history. Quinn and the Falcons would make the playoffs only once before he was fired early into the 2020 season after a winless start. He joined the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator in 2021, coaching units that led the NFL in turnovers for three consecutive seasons prior to him being hired as Commanders head coach in 2024.

Early life

Quinn was born on September 11, 1970, in Morristown, New Jersey.[1] He grew up in nearby Morris Township and played football at Morristown High School before graduating in 1989.[2][3][4] Quinn attended Salisbury University, an NCAA Division III school, and played defensive lineman on its football team from 1990 to 1993. He was a four-year starter in football and held the school's hammer throw record (168.8 feet) until 2012.[5] Quinn was inducted into Salisbury's athletic hall of fame in 2005.[5]


Early coaching (1994–2012)

Quinn began his coaching career with the William & Mary Tribe football team in 1994 and at Virginia Military Institute in 1995, working with their defensive lines.[6] From 1996 to 1999, Quinn served as the defensive line coach at Hofstra and their defensive coordinator in 2000. He was hired as a defensive quality control coach by the San Francisco 49ers in 2001.[7] He was promoted to defensive line coach in 2003, later working the same role for the Miami Dolphins (2005–2006), New York Jets (2007–2008), and Seattle Seahawks (2009–2010). He also served as defensive coordinator of the Florida Gators (2011–2012).[8]

Seattle Seahawks (2013–2014)

Quinn as Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator, 2013

On January 17, 2013, Quinn was hired by the Seahawks as their defensive coordinator. In his first season, the Seahawks led the league in fewest points allowed (231), fewest yards allowed (4,378), and turnovers (39), to become the first team since the 1985 Chicago Bears to accomplish the feat; the Seahawks went on to win Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos 43-8 led by their strong secondary dubbed the Legion of Boom.[9][10]

Atlanta Falcons (2015–2020)

On February 2, 2015, Quinn was hired as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.[11] He won his first game as head coach on Monday Night Football. The Falcons started 5-0 before finishing the season 8–8 and missing the playoffs.[12] In the 2016 season, the Falcons won the NFC South with an 11–5 record.[13] In the Divisional Round, the Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks 36–20[14] before defeating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship, advancing to Super Bowl LI.[15] In the Super Bowl, the Falcons gave up a 28-3 lead in the third quarter, the largest in Super Bowl history.[16][17] Quinn won the 2016 Salute to Service Award at the 6th Annual NFL Honors.[18]

Quinn as Atlanta Falcons head coach, 2016

In the 2017 season, the Falcons finished the year 10–6, which was only good enough for 3rd in the NFC South, but also good enough for the 6th seed in the playoffs.[19] In the Wild Card Round, the Falcons defeated the 3rd seeded Los Angeles Rams by a score of 26–13 and advanced to the Divisional Round.[20] In the Divisional Round, the Falcons lost on the road to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 15–10.[21] In the 2018 season, the Falcons were injury riddled throughout the season, losing seven starters to injured reserve and more for at least a game. Ultimately, the team finished 7–9, which placed the Falcons at second in the NFC South, and as the eight seed in the NFC, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015.[22] Following the firing of defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Quinn took on the position of defensive coordinator for the Falcons.

In the 2019 season, the Falcons started the first half of the season going 1–7 with growing speculation that Falcons owner Arthur Blank would fire Quinn sometime during or at the end of the season. However, after a defensive turnaround with Quinn distributing some of the defensive play-calling duties to assistants, the team finished the season at 7–9, again placing second in the NFC South and missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year.[23] Blank announced that Quinn would return for the 2020 season after the season.[24] The Falcons began the 2020 season with a 38-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. This loss marked Quinn's 40th loss of his head coaching career including playoff losses. On October 11, 2020, after an 0–5 start to the season, the Falcons' first since 1997, Quinn, along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff, was fired by the Falcons.[25] The team named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris as the interim head coach.[26] Quinn finished his tenure in Atlanta with a 43–42 (.506) regular season record, 3–2 (.600) playoff record and a 46–44 (.511) career record.

Dallas Cowboys (2021–2023)

On January 11, 2021, Quinn was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as their defensive coordinator under head coach Mike McCarthy, replacing Mike Nolan, who was dismissed following the 2020 season.[27] Quinn stepped in as acting head coach in a game against the New Orleans Saints after McCarthy had tested positive for COVID-19. In Quinn's first season as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, the team finished atop the NFC East with a 12–5 record. A year after the Cowboys allowed a franchise-record 473 points and second-most rushing yards in franchise history, Quinn's defensive unit ranked 19th in the league in yards allowed per play (5.5), eighth in opponent's points per game (21.2) and first in turnovers (34). He was named the season's Assistant Coach of the Year.[28] Quinn agreed to a contract extension with the team in January 2022.[29] Under his tenure, Quinn's defenses led the league in turnovers from 2021 to 2023.[30]

Washington Commanders (2024–present)

On February 3, 2024, Quinn was named head coach of the Washington Commanders.[31] He hired former Texas Tech and Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as offensive coordinator and Cowboys secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. as defensive coordinator.[32][33]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ATL 2015 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC South
ATL 2016 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC South 2 1 .667 Lost to New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI
ATL 2017 10 6 0 .625 3rd in NFC South 1 1 .500 Lost to Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Divisional Game
ATL 2018 7 9 0 .438 2nd in NFC South
ATL 2019 7 9 0 .438 2nd in NFC South
ATL 2020 0 5 0 .000 Fired
ATL total 43 42 0 .506 3 2 .600
WAS 2024 0 0 0
WAS total 0 0 0 0 0
Total 43 42 0 .506 3 2 .600

Six of Quinn's assistants have been hired as head coaches:

Personal life

Quinn met his wife Stacey while attending Salisbury University.[34] He is a Catholic.[35]


  1. ^ Dan Quinn: Head Coach Archived February 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Atlanta Falcons. Accessed February 20, 2017. "Quinn was born in Morristown, New Jersey."
  2. ^ Bonasera, Paul. "Quinn coaching winners on the field and off in Morris Twp.", Daily Record (Morristown), December 10, 2008. Accessed February 27, 2013. "Dan, the youngest of six children, was captain of the Morristown High School football team."
  3. ^ Staff. "Morris Township basks in reflected glory of Super Bowl star", Morris NewsBee, February 3, 2014. Accessed February 20, 2017. "The defensive coordinator for the Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks, Dan Quinn, is a native son of Morris Township, a Morristown High School graduate and the brother of Township Administrator Timothy Quinn."
  4. ^ Coughlin, Kevin. "Falcon coach Dan Quinn’s road to Super Bowl started at Morristown High", MorristownGreen.com, February 5, 2017. Accessed February 20, 2017. "The youngest of six kids, Quinn grew up in Morris Township playing baseball and football. At Morristown High School, where he graduated in 1989, he captained the football team for two years, playing center and linebacker and winning all-conference honors as a senior."
  5. ^ a b "Dan Quinn, Salisbury Hall of Famer, named Washington Commanders head coach". suseagulls.com. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  6. ^ Rohan, Tim. "Dan Quinn's Coaching Roots at William & Mary". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  7. ^ McClure, Vaughn. "Former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci reflects on giving Dan Quinn his NFL shot". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Dan Quinn Named Finalist for Broyles Award". Florida Gators Athletics. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Mayer, Larry (February 4, 2014). "Comparing Seahawks to '85 Bears". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  10. ^ "Super Bowl XLVIII – Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos – February 2nd, 2014". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Mcclure, Vaughn (February 2, 2015). "Falcons to introduce Dan Quinn". ESPN. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "2015 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "2016 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "Divisional Round – Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons – January 14th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  15. ^ "NFC Championship – Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons – January 22nd, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  16. ^ Chadiha, Jeffri. "Falcons' historic collapse leads to Patriots' fifth Super Bowl win". NFL. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  17. ^ "Super Bowl LI – New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons – February 5th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  18. ^ "Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn Named 2016 Salute to Service Award Recipient". nflcommunications.com. NFL. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  19. ^ "2017 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "Wild Card Round – Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams – January 6th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "Divisional Round – Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles – January 13th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "2018 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  23. ^ "2019 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "Falcons' Dan Quinn, GM Dimitroff to return in 2020". NFL.com. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  25. ^ "Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, coach Dan Quinn relieved of their duties". www.atlantafalcons.com. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  26. ^ "Atlanta Falcons name Raheem Morris interim head coach". AtlantaFalcons.com. Atlanta Falcons. October 12, 2020.
  27. ^ "Dan Quinn Agrees To Terms As Cowboys' New DC". www.dallascowboys.com. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  28. ^ Gordon, Grant (January 27, 2022). "Dan Quinn earns 2021 AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year after Cowboys' turnaround". NFL.com. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  29. ^ "Dallas Cowboys extend Dan Quinn with multi-year deal". January 28, 2022.
  30. ^ Epstein, Jori. "In new opportunity with Commanders and Jayden Daniels, Dan Quinn is checking his blind spots". Yahoo. Retrieved July 4, 2024. Quinn's teams will aim to leverage tempo and a dual-threat-but-pass-first quarterback to set an aggressive tone on offense, while ballhawking and strain characterize a defense that Quinn hopes can steal a few possessions with takeaway magic reflective of his recent Cowboys teams (who led the league all three of Quinn's years in Dallas)
  31. ^ Selby, Zach (February 3, 2024). "Dan Quinn named Washington Commanders' 31st head coach". Commanders.com. Retrieved February 3, 2024.
  32. ^ "Washington Commanders name Kliff Kingsbury offensive coordinator". Washington Commanders. February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  33. ^ "Washington Commanders name Joe Whitt Jr. defensive coordinator". February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  34. ^ "Commanders coach Dan Quinn, Salisbury alum, found love in Maryland with wife Stacey". FOX 5 DC. WTTG. Retrieved May 1, 2024.
  35. ^ Beattie, Trent. "Seattle Seahawks' Coach Draws Strength From Catholic Church". National Catholic Register. Retrieved May 1, 2024.