Commanders assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Eric Bienemi has one year left on his contract.
Kingsbury, 44, was previously the middling head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Texas Tech, but has a strong track record of developing quarterbacks. In points scored, his Cardinals offenses ranked 16th, 11th and 10th before finishing 23rd. 23rd is Washington's best finish since 2018.
In college, Kingsbury coached Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Houston's Case Keenum. In the NFL, he coached Murray.
Diversity in NFL head coaching hiring cycle shows signs of improvement
In April, after being fired by Arizona with a 28-37-1 record, Kingsbury joined USC to help mentor Caleb Williams, widely projected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NFL draft. Washington hiring Kingsbury would spark speculation that the Commanders could select the DC native along with the Chicago Bears.
Kingsbury runs a spread offense derived from the Air Raid, a shotgun-based pass-heavy scheme. But he is calling runs at a higher rate than Bieniemy did last season.
A former quarterback at Texas Tech, Kingsbury excelled at Air Raid from 1998 to 2002. The New England Patriots drafted him in the sixth round in 2003, and he became a journeyman in the NFL and Canadian Football League until his retirement in 2007. The following year, he joined Houston as the offensive line coach and began climbing the coaching ladder.
The Chiefs, who formally announced the hiring of Dan Quinn as head coach on Saturday, are still working through the interview process for coordinators. Here are some candidates and other names to consider as Washington rounds up its coaching staff.
Kliff Kingsbury, USC senior offensive assistant
Mahomes' former college coach went 28-37-1 in his first outing as an NFL head coach, but could get a chance as a coordinator in Washington.
Brian Griese, San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach
Griese, who played 11 seasons in the NFL, was sidelined from the “Monday Night Football” booth in 2022 with no coaching experience. In two years, Greiss, 48, has helped Brock Birdie, a late 2022 pick. The draft leads to Super Bowl LVII as the league's leader in passer rating. He is on the generals' shortlist, a person familiar with the matter said. But if the team wants him, they'll have to wait until after the Super Bowl to interview and hire him.
Brian Johnson, former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator
Johnson, 36, a former Utah quarterback, spent the past three seasons with the Eagles — two as the team's quarterbacks coach and one as its offensive coordinator. He was released in January after the Eagles lost to the Buccaneers in the first round of the playoffs. Johnson is expected to interview for the commanders' OC job.
Chip Kelly, UCLA head coach
The longtime coach and play caller has been speculated for years to want to rejoin the NFL after four seasons with the Eagles (2013-15) and 49ers (2016). Kelly, 60, has been at UCLA since 2018 and may be on commanders' radar for canting-calling candies.
Brian Fleury, San Francisco 49ers tight ends coach
Fleury, a Maryland native who played at Maryland and Towson, was an assistant at both schools before stepping up to the position of quality control coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2013. After coaching the Cleveland Browns' linebackers (2014-15), Fleury spent three years (2016-18) as a football research analyst with the Miami Dolphins. He left in 2019 — just as Eugene Shen, the Commanders' vice president of football strategy, began his time in Miami — to join the 49ers and serve as tight ends coach in 2022.
Tanner Engstrand, Detroit Lions passing game coordinator
Darrell Bevell, Miami Dolphins quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator
Dee Martin, Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach
Ronald Curry, passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the New Orleans Saints
Joe Playmeier, Kansas City Chiefs passing game coordinator
Eric Stoudsville, Miami Dolphins Head Coach/Running Backs Coach
Joe Witt Jr., Dallas Cowboys secondary coach/passing game coordinator
A former walk-on receiver at Auburn, Witt returned to coaching in 2000 and joined the pro teams in 2007 as the Atlanta Falcons' defensive backs coach. After 11 seasons he was a defensive assistant for the Packers, with whom he won Super Bowl XLV. , Witt, 45, spent time with the Browns and Falcons before joining Quinn in Dallas in 2021 as the Cowboys' secondary coach and game coordinator. Two people familiar with the Chiefs' thinking said he was a candidate for the team's defensive coordinator vacancy. It's also worth noting that Whit and Quinn share an agent.
Joe Cullen, Kansas City Chiefs defensive line coach
Cullen, 56, has 17 years of NFL coaching experience, primarily on the defensive line. After stops in Detroit, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Baltimore, he spent one year (2021) as the Jacksonville Jaguars' defensive coordinator before moving to Kansas City in 2022 as the Chiefs' D-line coach. If the Generals want to interview Cullen, they'll have to wait until after the Super Bowl.
Chris Harris, Tennessee Titans passing game coordinator/cornerbacks coach
The former Chiefs defensive backs coach has been in the mix for coordinator jobs the past two seasons. He spent last season on Mike Vrabel's staff in Tennessee, but the arrival of new Titans coach Brian Callahan could open up new opportunities for him. Players in Washington still think highly of him, making his name worth keeping an eye on.
Christian Parker, Denver Broncos defensive backs coach
George Edwards, Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebackers coach
Brandon Staley, former Los Angeles Chargers head coach
Dan “Wink” Martindale, former Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants defensive coordinator
Chris Hewitt, Baltimore Ravens game coordinator/secondary coach
Patrick Graham, Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator
Aubrey Pleasant, Los Angeles Rams passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach
Glen Shuman, defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia