Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Atlanta Falcons have come to terms with former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on a five-year contract to become the 16th head coach in the Falcons history. Expectations have lingered that Quinn would be named the head coach for some time, but the Falcons were compelled by league rules to wait until Seattle’s season was over before making the move official. The Seahawks lost last night in Super Bowl XLIX to the New England Patriots by a score of 28-24. The Falcons are expected to unveil Quinn tomorrow during a press conference.
Quinn, 44, spent the past two seasons coordinating the Seahawks defense, each year finishing atop league rankings both in yards allowed (total defense) and points allowed (scoring defense). In that time, the Seahawks won a Super Bowl thanks largely to a dominant defensive effort last season against the Denver Broncos, holding an offense that average 38 points per game to just eight in that game. They nearly became the first team to repeat as champs in roughly a decade, but failed to convert a last-minute opportunity at the goal line against the Patriots.
Under Quinn, the Seahawks defense has been highlighted by their prolific secondary called the “Legion of Boom” which has led the team to finish atop the league in pass defense in consecutive years.
Prior to his most recent stint in Seattle, Quinn’s first experience as a defensive coordinator was at the University of Florida for two seasons. His first season saw a Florida defense rank eighth in the nation in total defense and his second year saw a fifth-ranked scoring defense.
Quinn coached the defensive line of the Seahawks for two seasons prior to taking the job at Florida. He was one of only three assistant coaches retained from Jim Mora’s staff in 2010 upon the hiring of new head coach Pete Carroll.
Before heading to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, Quinn served as a defensive line coach on several NFL teams including the San Francisco 49ers (2003-04), Miami Dolphins (2005-06) and New York Jets (2007-08), working under head coaches like Steve Mariucci, Nick Saban and Eric Mangini. During those years he made connections with several coaches that are expected to join his new staff in Atlanta. Current Falcons assistants Bryan Cox and Keith Armstrong were two of the connections made during that time and are expected to remain on Quinn’s staff. New Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith was another connection that Quinn made in those years, first with the 49ers and then with the Dolphins.
Quinn first joined the NFL ranks as a defensive quality control coach with the 49ers in 2001. Before that, he worked primarily as a defensive line coach on the college ranks, starting with William & Mary in 1994. He moved on to Virginia Military Institute in 1995 before joining the staff at Hofstra in 1996. There, he made another coaching connection with a former Hofstra defensive back named Raheem Morris, who is also expected to join Quinn’s staff in Atlanta.
Quinn played defensive line at Salisbury State and was inducted into that school’s Hall of Fame.