Coslet, Bruce

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Bruce Coslet
Bruce Coslet was the head coach of the New York Jets from 1990 to 1993.



Born August 5, 1946 in Oakdale, California, Coslet played for the College of the Pacific.

NFL career

Playing career

Coslet was a tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals, his playing career lasting from 1969 to 1976. Because he could never crack Cincinnati's starting lineup, he devoted his energy to special teams and eventually became their captain. In the off seasons, he had a construction business in northern California. When his playing career ended in 1976, he became part-owner of a string of delicatessens.

Coaching Career

Coslet got back into football in 1980, when Bill Walsh hired him as a special-teams assistant on the San Francisco 49ers. After the season, Coslet met with Paul Brown, the Bengals' owner, who asked him if he wanted the job at Cincinnati. He took over as the Bengals' offensive coordinator after the sacking of Lindy Infante because he was going to jump to the USFL. In three of his last four seasons as offensive coordinator, the Bengals led the AFC in total yardage. Twice over that span they had the top-ranked offense in the NFL.

As Jets Head Coach

'We needed a guy to change the environment,' said Dick Steinberg, the Jets' new general manager, after the firing of Joe Walton. Steinberg said he was searching for a coach to bring a formidable personality to the sidelines as well as a disciplinarian to help change the atmosphere and reputation of a club that had sunk to a 4-12 record. Coslet fit the bill. Bill Walsh, at the time described Coslet's coaching as at 'the cutting edge of the game.' Coslet took the job in January 1990. Among the first causalties were Wesley Walker and longtime back up QB Pat Ryan, who were waived. Under Coslet, the Jets switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3, but in his first season, they only finished 6-10. In 1991 the Jets drafted Browning Nagle, but Ken O'Brien remained the starter and thanks to an overtime field goal against Miami, sneaked into the playoffs with an 8-8 record, but lost in the Wild Card round.

The 1992 season would prove to be a disaster. The team finished 4-12. After a contract dispute during the summer with O'Brien, Coslet decided to go with Nagle at quarterback. The Jets lost their first four games and the offense collapsed around Nagle. Later, receiver Al Toon retired after being unable to shake the effects of the ninth concussion of his career and defensive end Dennis Byrd broke his neck and was partially paralyzed. Coslet received praise for keeping the team from disintegrating during a difficult season. In 1993, Coslet brought in his old quarterback from Cincinnati, Boomer Esiason, and promptly gave him O'Brien's Number 7. O'Brien was soon traded. In the final week the Jets had a chance of making the playoffs, but were shutout 24-0 against Houston. Coslet was then sacked. The reason given was his refusal to hire an offensive coordinator. Coslet was replaced by his defensive coordinator, Pete Carroll.

Coslet compiled a 26-38 record in four seasons, reaching the playoffs once.

After the Jets

After being dismissed by the Jets in 1993, Coslet returned to the Bengals once again as the offensive coordinator. When head coach David Shula was fired in 1996, Coslet was promoted to head coach where he served in that role until he resigned during the 3rd week of the 2000 season. In 2002, Coslet was hired as offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys under head coach Dave Campo. When Campo was fired and Bill Parcells was hired, Coslet was let go again.

Preceeded by Jets Head Coach Succeeded by
Joe Walton 1990 - 1993 Pete Carroll
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