Former Redskins coach Joe Bugel dies at age 80

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 14: Offensivs assistant head coach Joe Bugel of the Washington Redskins watches the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Fed Ex Field on August 14, 2004 in Landover, Maryland. The Panthers won 23-20. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)


Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Bugel has died at the age of 80 years old.

Bugel was the teams’ offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1981-82. Bugel became the assistant head coach from 1983-89 following the team’s Super Bowl victory in 1983.

“Joe was a larger than life figure and a true legend of his profession,” said Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder in a statement released by the team.


Throughout his tenure with the Redskins, Bugel brought the team to a then-NFL record 541 points in 1983, four 1,000-yard rushers, one 4,000-yard passer, and nine 1,000-yard receivers. The team went on to win another Super Bowl in 1988.

Bugel later joined the then-Phoenix Cardinals as head coach from 1990-95. From 1995-97 he worked as assistant head coach and head coach for the Oakland Raiders. Bugel also coached the offensive line for the San Diego Chargers from 1998-2001.

After a stint as head coach of the Phoenix Cardinals and other posts in the NFL, Bugel returned to the Redskins to serve as assistant head coach-offense from 2004 to 2009.

Bugel was an iconic figure in the Redskins organization. He leads the team for two Super Bowl victories, is celebrated as one of the most excellent offensive lines coaches in NFL history. He coached a total of 32 seasons with the NFL.

Coaching under Joe Gibbs from 1981-89, Bugel was the architect of the dominating “Hogs” offensive line that included stalwarts Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Mark May, Jeff Bostic, and George Starke.


“Joe had an incredible passion for the game of football. He came to work every day with such great excitement and his players had tremendous respect for him. The strength of our coaching staff on both sides of the ball was a key reason we had so much success. Bugel was such a big part of that and his impact was felt not only by those Redskins’ teams, but truly across the entire League. I will miss his friendship and I will always cherish our late-night arguments putting together the game plan each week. Pat and I will be praying for his wife Brenda, his girls, and their entire family,” Gibbs said.


Bugel, who was a high school football star in his native Pittsburgh, was born on March 10, 1940. Bugel is survived by his wife, Brenda, and daughters: Angie and Jennifer. His daughter, Holly Bugel, passed away in 2008.


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