Bruce Coslet
-- head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals

  Bruce Coslet was named head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals Oct. 21, 1996 after the firing of his predecessor, Dave Shula.

DDN photo by Bill Reinke
  Coslet, once a Bengals player, was the team's offensive coordinator at the time of his appointment. After Shula's ouster, Coslet built a 7-2 record for the remainder of the season and on Dec.15 the Bengals announced he had won a four-year contract.
   Bengals owner Mike Brown brought Coslet back to the Cincinnati organization in hopes of resuscitating one of the NFL's worst offensive units.
  After the Bengals lost six out of their seven first games in the 1996 season, Brown fired head coach Dave Shula and elevated Coslet to replace him. Brown said at the time he considered Coslet more than just an interim coach, though Coslet had no contract beyond the 1996 season. That changed on Dec. 15, 1996 when the bengals announced a four-year contract for Coslet.

The Bruce Coslet file:

by Marc Katz
published 10-22-96

DOB: 8-5-1946, in Oakdale California.
Family: Son of James and Mae Coon Coslet; married to Kathy Coslet; two children, son J.J., and daughter Amy.

Playing and coaching history:

1965-67 - Tight end at University of the Pacific.
1969-76 - Tight end with Cincinnati Bengals.
1980 - Assistant coach, San Francisco 49ers.
1981-85 - Assistant coach, Cincinnati Bengals.
1986-89 - Offensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals.
1990-93 - Head coach, New York Jets.
1994-96 - Offensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals.
1996 - Interim head coach, Cincinnati Bengals.

Coaching highlights

1986 - Took over as offensive coordinator of the Bengals. Cincinnati finished with the No.1 offense in the NFL, compiling 6,490 yards, 409 points and a 10-6 record.
1988 - Offense finished No.1 in the NFL, compiling 6,057 yards, 448 points and a trip to Super Bowl XXIII. QB Boomer Esiason received the NFL MVP Award.
1989 - Offense finished No.1 for third time in four years. However, Bengals finish 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs.
1990 - Feb. 6, Coslet is named coach of the New York Jets. Opened season with a victory over Cleveland, 24-21. Jets finished season 6-10, but won their last two games.
1991 - Jets finished 8-8, finishing the season with a dramatic overtime win over Miami that propelled them into the playoffs. They lost their playoff opener to the Oilers, 17-10.
1993 - The Jets trade for Boomer Esiason, reuniting the former MVP with his offensive coordinator. The Jets finished 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season. Coslet is replaced by Pete Carroll.
1994 - Coslet returns to the Bengals as offensive coordinator. The team scores 89 more points than the 1993 season, the largest improvement in the NFL.
1995 - Jeff Blake, whom Coslet drafted while head coach of the Jets, becomes the Bengals' starting QB. Blake passes for 3,822 yards and 28 TDs, earning Pro Bowl honors. WR Carl Pickens finished the season with 99 receptions and 1,234 yards, joining Blake at the Pro Bowl.
1996 - Bengals start 1-6. David Shula is fired on 10-21-96 and replaced by Coslet. On 12-15-96 the Bengals announce Coslet has been awarded a four-year contract.

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Compiled by Dayton Daily News Library staff
File created: 1-1-1997