LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Commanders announced today that Tavita Pritchard has been named the team's quarterbacks coach. Ken Zampese who served as the quarterbacks coach from 2020-22 will move to the role of senior offensive advisor/game management. Brent Vieselmeyer has been promoted to the role defensive backs coach, Richard Rodgers has been promoted to the role of senior defensive assistant/safeties and Cristian Garcia has been promoted to the role of assistant defensive backs/nickels coach.
Pritchard enters his first NFL season after serving in a variety of coaching roles with Stanford University. Pritchard played quarterback at Stanford from 2006-09 and joined the staff as a graduate assistant in 2010. He was then promoted to the role of defensive assistant from 2011-12 and moved on to coach the running backs in 2013. He was then promoted to the role of quarterbacks/wide receivers coach from 2014-17 before assuming the role of offensive coordinator from 2018-22.
In Pritchard's time as Stanford's offensive coordinator, eight offensive players were drafted: WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (2019 second round, Philadelphia), RB Bryce Love (2019 fourth round, Washington), TE Kaden Smith (2019 sixth round, San Francisco), TE Colby Parkinson (2020 fourth round, Seattle), OT Walter Little (2021 second round, Jacksonville), QB Davis Mills (2021 third round, Houston), C Drew Dalman (2021 fourth round, Atlanta) and WR Simi Fehoko (2021 fifth round, Dallas).
In 2020, Pritchard coached quarterback QB Davis Mills, a third-round draft pick of the Houston Texans, who guided the team to a 4-2 record, including four straight wins to end the season during a COVID-19 shortened season. Mills earned honorable mention All-Pac-12, finishing 129-of-195 (66.2%) for 1,508 yards and 10 total touchdowns (7 passing, 3 rushing). His 301.6 passing yards per game was second best in the Pac-12.
Stanford averaged 420.2 yards per game offensively, including 287.3 yards per game through the air and 132.8 on the ground. Stanford improved on third down (48% in 2020 vs. 39% in 2019) and red-zone offense (78% TDs in 2020 vs. 47% TDs in 2019), while totaling 15 TDs on the ground in just six games vs. just eight rushing touchdowns in 2019 over 12 total games.
Pritchard also coached QB Kevin Hogan, a fifth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, during his final season at Stanford. Hogan led the team to the 2015 Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl win. He threw 27 touchdowns to eight interceptions and completed 67.8 percent of his throws. Hogan finished his career at Stanford with a school-best 36-10 record as a starter and ranked first in career total offense (10,634), second in completion percentage (.659) and passing efficiency (154.6), and third in passing yards (9,385) and passing touchdowns (75). He also set school records for career rushing yards (1,249) and touchdowns (15) by a quarterback.
Ken Zampese enters his 25th season coaching in the NFL and his fourth with Washington. This will be his first season in the role of senior offensive advisor/game management. Zampese has held the position of quarterbacks coach with Washington from 2020-22.
Prior to joining Washington, Zampese served in a variety of offensive coaching roles with the Cleveland Browns (2018), Cincinnati Bengals (2003-17), St. Louis Rams (2000-02), Green Bay Packers (1999) and Philadelphia Eagles (1998).
Brent Vieselmeyer enters his eighth season coaching in the NFL and his fourth with Washington. This will be his first season in the role of defensive backs coach. He was Washington's assistant defensive backs/nickels coach from 2020-22 after serving in a variety of coaching roles with the Oakland Raiders from 2015-18.
Prior to joining Washington, Vieselmeyer was the head coach for Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Prior to coaching at Santa Margarita, he was an offensive analyst for the University of Kansas in 2018.
From 2013-14, Vieselmeyer served as the co-defensive coordinator at Houston Baptist University. Prior to joining the Huskies, he served as head coach at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., beginning in March 2007, where he launched the football program. At Valor Christian, he compiled a 55-12 record, leading the Eagles to four-straight state championships in 2009 (3A), 2010 (4A), 2011 (4A) and 2012 (5A). He was named the Denver Post Colorado Coach of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was All Sport Jefferson County Coach of the Year in 2010.
Vieselmeyer began his coaching career at Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High School, where he spent eight years as defensive coordinator. He led the Lancers to a 2006 California state title. They also won the 2004 CIF Southern Section Championship and were finalists in 2000, 2001 and 2003.
Richard Rodgers enters his 12th season coaching in the NFL and his fourth with Washington. It is his first season in the role of senior defensive assistant/safeties. He held the role of assistant defensive backs coach from 2020-22.
In 2020, Rodgers assisted the defensive backs group that boasted the second-best passing defense in the league in 2020 [191.8 yards per game]. Rodgers helped coach the group that allowed 3,068 net passing yards, Washington's fewest since 2004 [2,977].
Rodgers joined Washington after serving in a variety of roles with the Carolina Panthers from 2012-19.
Prior to joining Carolina, Rodgers coached collegiately for 23 years. He coached at Holy Cross from 2005-11, spending his last six seasons as defensive coordinator after handling the secondary in 2005. Rodgers developed the Crusaders into one of the top defenses in the Patriot League. Five players from his unit earned All-Patriot League honors in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Cristian Garcia is entering his third season coaching in the NFL and third with the Commanders. This will be his first season in the role of assistant defensive backs/nickels coach. Garcia has held the role of defensive quality control the past two seasons.
Previously, Garcia spent the 2020 season working with Georgia Tech's staff as a graduate assistant having a quality control role. Garcia spent the 2019-19 seasons with UNLV as a defensive quality control coach.
A former collegiate linebacker, Garcia finished his college career at the University of Florida and was one of four team captains. He played linebacker and was a key member of Florida's special teams. He played in all 11 games in 2017 as a reserve linebacker and was named the Orange Bowl FWAA Courage Award Player of the Week after he recorded four tackles and one tackle-for-loss at Kentucky.