|Having served as a player and coach for the past 17 years in professional football, Jay Gruden begins his fifth season with Tampa Bay as an offensive assistant coach.|
His impressive list of accomplishments as both a player and coach include 16 seasons of service in the Arena Football League, where he has never missed the playoffs as a player or coach. In 2006, Gruden completed his third season in his second stint as head coach of the Orlando Predators. The Predators tallied a 10-6 mark this past season and advanced to the ArenaBowl.
In 2002, Gruden’s first season with the Buccaneers, he helped guide an offense that showed consistent improvement and proved vital in the club’s first NFL championship in Super Bowl XXXVII against Oakland. With Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl championship, he has been a member of seven championship teams as both a player (four) and a coach (three).
In seven seasons as head coach of the Orlando Predators (1998-2001, 2004-2006), Jay has led the team to four ArenaBowl appearances with two championships and ranks eighth all-time in AFL wins with a 74-43 record. He also ranks fourth all-time in playoff wins (12) and second in playoff winning percentage (.706). The first championship came in 1998 with a 62-31 win over Tampa Bay at ArenaBowl XII and the second, a 41-38 win over the Nashville Kats in 2000.
Gruden also spent one season as offensive coordinator of the Nashville Kats in 1997, tutoring QB Andy Kelly and helping set an expansion-team record of 10 wins. As quarterback of the Tampa Bay Storm from 1991 to 1996, Gruden won four ArenaBowl championships in six years, passed for more than 15,000 yards and 280 touchdowns, while also completing almost 60 percent of his passes. He retired as the league’s all-time leading passer, carrying with him a league MVP award in 1992 and an ArenaBowl MVP Trophy in 1993.
Elected to the AFL Hall of Fame in 1999, Gruden returned to the playing field three years later and led the Predators to the 2002 Southern Division Championship, throwing 68 touchdown passes in 14 games. In 10 games in 2003, Gruden passed for 49 touchdowns against only two interceptions and including the playoffs, finished the season 11-1 as a starter.
A three-year starter at Louisville (1985-1988) under head coach Howard Schnellenberger, Gruden set numerous passing records and earned team MVP recognition twice (1987 and 1988).
Gruden is the younger brother of Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden and their father Jim, a former coach with the Buccaneers and scout for the San Francisco 49ers, is currently a personnel consultant with the Bucs. Jay and his wife, Sherry, reside in Orlando with their three sons: JJ, Joey and Jack.
GRUDEN AT A GLANCE1985-88…Louisville, player1990…Barcelona Dragons/Sacramento Surge, player1991-96…Tampa Bay Storm, player1997…Nashville Katz, offensive coordinator1998-2001…Orlando Predators, head coach2002-03…Tampa Bay Buccaneers, assistant coach/Orlando Predators, player2004-06…Tampa Bay Buccaneers, assistant coach/Orlando Predators, Head Coach