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Cerrato Promoted to Executive Vice President

The Redskins have named Vinny Cerrato to the new position of Executive Vice President-Football Operations, the team announced on Tuesday.

Cerrato will assume responsibility for all aspects of the team's football organization, including personnel, the team roster, scouting and salary cap management.

In a statement issued by the team, Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder said the move is consistent with the structure the team has used the last four years under former head coach Joe Gibbs.

Said Snyder: "The appointment formalizes the structure the team has operated under in recent years, and is recognition of the valuable role Vinny has played this season, especially during a time of terrible tragedy.

"During the past season we were hit with an unprecedented number of injuries, and Vinny consistently identified players who stepped in and stepped up to help take us to the playoffs."

The move could be a precursor to the Redskins hiring a head coach this week.

Gibbs, who retired on Jan. 8 after four years as head coach and team president, praised Cerrato in the Redskins' statement. Gibbs continues to serve as a special advisor to Snyder.

"Vinny worked closely with me on all personnel matters," Gibbs said. "This is a well-deserved acknowledgement of that."

Added Gibbs: "Today's Washington Redskins roster is a testament to Vinny and the personnel department being an integral part of our team structure in identifying players, whether acquired in free agency, the draft or on sometimes very short notice as we made our way through the season."

Cerrato currently is playing a central role in the search for Gibbs' replacement, as he did four years ago when the head coach position last was open.

With Cerrato heading up the football operations side of the franchise, the Redskins have a clear delineation of leadership in all aspects of the organization, Snyder said.

Said Snyder: "The team's executive ranks are solid with Vinny at the head of the football operation and Chief Operating Officer Mitch Gershman leading the Redskins' other important business. Their close working relationship ensures strong leadership."

Cerrato is entering his 18th season in the NFL and ninth season with the Redskins.

Before coming to Washington, Cerrato spent nine seasons--and earned a Super Bowl ring--with the San Francisco 49ers, where he served as director of college scouting and director of player personnel from 1991-99.

Prior to joining the NFL, Cerrato worked with Lou Holtz at Notre Dame as football recruiting coordinator, winning a national championship ring in 1988.

Cerrato began his career as a graduate assistant for the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 1983-84 before being promoted to recruiting coordinator.

Cerrato is a 1982 graduate of Iowa State, where he lettered at quarterback and wide receiver all four years.

He was born in Flushing, N.Y., and grew up in Albert Lea, Minn., where he played football, hockey and ran track.

Cerrato and his wife Rebecca have two sons, Vincent John and Charles.

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