“I feel like I was put on Earth to do this,” Harris said. “But I also feel a tremendous obligation to the city.”

ASHBURN, Va. — WUSA9 met exclusively with Washington Commanders majority owner Josh Harris moments after he helped welcome head coach Dan Quinn to the organization. Quinn’s hiring brought to a close a whirlwind month for Harris. 

After parting ways with Ron Rivera in January, Harris put together his search committee, and began looking for a new leader of the franchise. Harris brought in Adam Peters as the team’s new general manager, and Quinn was hired a few weeks later, following a series of interviews. 

Then, Kliff Kingsbury joined Quinn’s staff as offensive coordinator, with Joe Whitt Jr. as defensive coordinator.

“It’s a new dawn,” Harris said.

Getting to this point was clearly something Harris took seriously, and personally. As someone who grew up watching the Washington franchise in its heyday, he knows the responsibility he has bringing the team into its next chapter. 

Harris and his ownership group took the franchise over from embattled owner Dan Snyder in July, paying a record $6.05 billion. Since then, Harris has not stopped pushing to restore the franchise to its former glory, the team he remembers growing up with.

“It’s really deep and emotional,” Harris said. “You get flooded with memories of your childhood. You get flooded with memories of all the success that Washington football has had… The sound of the football field at RFK.”

But the owner says he is up to the task. 

“I feel like I was put on Earth to do this,” he said. “But I also feel a tremendous obligation to the city.”

Harris also talked about the process of selecting a new head coach, and what really happened behind the scenes. The Commanders spoke to a number of head coaching candidates throughout January, including Mike Macdonald, Raheem Morris, Bobby Slowik and Ben Johnson. 

“There’s a lot of times that coaches or assistant coaches are speaking publicly. You can learn a lot about who they are,” Harris said. “You study their track record, what they’ve said, what they stand for, how they orient in football.”

Once Harris identified who the team wanted to speak to, he said the interviews covered a lot of ground, from the broad to the detailed, from who they are as people, to how they feel about the draft. 

RELATED: Here’s what mock draft numbers say about Commanders pick choices

“We go really deep,” he said.

 The entire process took some time, but Harris said Quinn stood out early. 

“To be elite you gotta track elite people,” Harris said. “His ability to track those people really stood out to us. His knowledge of football, most notably on the defensive side, but also across the whole team. There were a lot of qualified candidates, but we ended up with our guy.” 

RELATED: ‘Unquestionably, one of the best leaders in the NFL’ | Commanders welcome Dan Quinn as head coach

Quinn comes to the Commanders after three seasons with the Cowboys. Before that, he was the Falcons’ head coach for five-plus seasons (2015-20), going 43-42 with a Super Bowl berth after the 2016 season. Quinn was also the defensive coordinator in Seattle in 2013 and 2014 when the Seahawks made back-to-back Super Bowls.

That experience helped Harris identify Quinn as a good fit for the team. 

“Initially it struck me that he was very prepared. He had a vision for how he would do this, what he would do, who he would use, how he would work with us. He had thought a lot about it,” Harris said.

Beyond the moving parts that make up the staff of the team, Harris remains focused on building a winning franchise for the fanbase. Part of that is finding a new home for the Commanders. 

RELATED: Josh Harris pursues new Commanders stadium as he pitches new arena for his basketball team, the 76ers

Harris said the ownership continues to look at three stadium sites in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. As far as details, he remained tight-lipped. 

“We’ll have more to say about that in the coming months. It’s very complicated,” he said. “We’re working hard… Nothing excellent comes easy.”

Harris knows the hard work isn’t over. But he says he is thankful to be given the opportunity to act as a steward for the franchise he loves.  

“I pinch myself everyday, but only for a few moments,” the Commanders owner said. “Then I go back to work.”

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