Tue, Jan 16, 2007 - Page 18 News List

NFL Cardinals sign Ken Whisenhunt as new head coach

AFP , WASHINGTON

Ken Whisenhunt, who spent the past three seasons as the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive coordinator, signed a four-year contract on Sunday to coach the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.

Whisenhunt, 44, was a top candidate to fill the Steelers' coaching vacancy following the retirement of Bill Cowher.

The Steelers delayed making a decision on a new coach to consider several options and Whisen-hunt, who might have missed out on other opportunities had he waited, accepted the Cardinals' offer.

Wisenhunt, in his first NFL head coaching post, will replace Dennis Green, who was fired Jan. 1 after three tumultuous seasons with the Cardinals.

Arizonao finished 5-11 each of the past two seasons and went 16-32 under Green.

"An interview process went on, and Ken continued to impress us and distinguish himself," Cardinals vice president of football operations Rod Graves said.

"It's clear to us that he has all the attributes we were seeking in terms of coaching ability, enthusiasm, organizational and leadership skills and the overall ability to lead this team to success immediately and for years to come," Graves said.

Wisenhunt becomes the eighth head coach for the Cardinals since the franchise moved to the desert from St. Louis in 1988. The club has not reached the playoffs since 1998.

The Cardinals began the season with a new retractable roof stadium, a new running back in standout Edgerrin James and a new quarterback in rookie Matt Leinart, but lost eight games in a row after winning their opener.

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