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Former Washington Redskins Coach Joe Bugel Dies at 80 – What We Remember Him For

Olowokandi Fiyin
Jun 30, 2020
08:47 A.M.
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Former Washington Redskins coach, Joe Bugel, has passed away at the age of 80. Let's take a look at his impactful career that saw him win three Super Bowls.

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The Washington Redskins have announced the passing of one of its former coaches, Joe Bugel — who died at the age of 80. During his lifetime, Joe was considered one of the most outstanding offensive line coaches in the history of the National Football League.

Joe Bugel gestures from the sidelines during a game  of the Oakland Raiders against the Denver Broncos at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum on October 19, 1997 | Photo: Getty Images

Joe Bugel gestures from the sidelines during a game of the Oakland Raiders against the Denver Broncos at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum on October 19, 1997 | Photo: Getty Images

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The late 80-year-old acted as the Redskins’ offensive line coach and was its offensive coordinator from 1981 to 1982 before becoming the assistant head coach in 1983. He, however, left the team in 1989 and was made the head coach of the then-Phoenix Cardinals in 1990.

Joe later underwent his first full-time assistant coaching job at Navy for four seasons. After that, he spent a season each at Iowa State and Ohio State before he kick-started his NFL career with the Detroit Lions in 1975

 Joe Bugel of the Washington Redskins poses for his 2009 NFL headshot on April 01, 2009 | Photo: Getty Images

Joe Bugel of the Washington Redskins poses for his 2009 NFL headshot on April 01, 2009 | Photo: Getty Images

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Joe later joined Oakland Raiders as their assistant head coach/offense from 1995 and 1996 — he was made the head coach in 1997. From 1998 to 2001, he coached the offensive line of the San Diego Chargers before he returned to the Redskins in 2004.

The legendary coach stayed with the team until he retired in 2009 — after 32 years in the NFL.

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During his second run with the Redskins, Joe played a significant role in the growth and eventual success of the team. Not only did Chris Samuels make it to four-consecutive Pro Bowls under Joe’s tutelage, but his front also helped RB Clinton Portis earn a spot as one of the top running backs of the decade.

SI.com additionally recalled that Joe’s career began as far back as 1964 when he was a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky — his alma mater.

Coach Joe Bugel at a game of the Washington Redskins against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense on Nov. 19, 2006 | Photo: Getty Images

Coach Joe Bugel at a game of the Washington Redskins against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense on Nov. 19, 2006 | Photo: Getty Images

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Joe later underwent his first full-time assistant coaching job at Navy for four seasons. After that, he spent a season each at Iowa State and Ohio State before he kick-started his NFL career with the Detroit Lions in 1975. CNN noted that in the team’s statement, the Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, said:

“Joe was a larger than life figure and a true legend of his profession. He exemplified what it meant to be a Redskin with his character and ability to connect with his players.”

Coach Joe Bugel observes during a game of the San Diego Chargers against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium in Dallas on September 23, 2001 | Photo: Getty Images

Coach Joe Bugel observes during a game of the San Diego Chargers against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium in Dallas on September 23, 2001 | Photo: Getty Images

Pro Football Reference also pointed out that Joe worked for Mike White, Rick Forzano, June Jones, Joe Gibbs, Kevin Gilbride, Tommy Hudspeth, Bum Phillips, Mike Riley, and Jim Zorn. May his soul Rest In Peace.

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