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Joe Gibbs
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The Career of a Champion
Joe Gibbs, the head coach of the Redskins, won three Super Bowls in 12 years, and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Jan. 26, 1996. Gibbs's induction marked the highest honor in his profession. Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon offered a tribute to Gibbs, and we provide a special look at Gibbs's career.

Joe Gibbs at First News Conference
TWP File Photo
THE BEGINNING
Gibbs Replaces Fired Pardee
After a 3½-hour meeting with former owner Jack Kent Cooke and GM Bobby Beathard, Gibbs, San Diego's offensive coordinator, was hired as the Redskins coach on Jan. 13, 1981. Gibbs replaced Jack Pardee, fired by Cooke eight days earlier. Former Post staff writer Dave Kindred tracks Gibbs's career.


THE SUCCESS
Building a Decade-Long Legacy of Super Bowls
Joe Gibbs and Jack Kent Cooke in 1982
TWP File Photo
After an 0-5 start, Gibbs and the Redskins won their first game Oct. 11, 1981, beating Chicago, 24-7. The next season, Gibbs (right) and owner Jack Kent Cooke (left) celebrated their first Super Bowl victory with a call from President Reagan. Game stories from all four Super Bowls are listed below:

Super Bowl XVII: Redskins 27, Miami Dolphins 17

Super Bowl XVIII: L.A. Raiders 38, Redskins 9

Super Bowl XXII: Redskins 42, Denver Broncos 10

Super Bowl XXVI: Redskins 37, Buffalo Bills 24



THE CONSEQUENCES
Rumors of Burnout a Part of Gibbs's Success
In 1987, going into his 100th game with the Redskins, there were whispers that Gibbs was showing the symptoms of burnout, yet Gibbs and former owner Jack Kent Cooke continued to forge a friendship. While Gibbs kept his private life out of the news, he opened up in 1991, detailing his troubles before joining the Redskins. The year before, he refused to entertain any questions about his future in coaching. Even in 1993, after four Super Bowls, Gibbs maintained a strong work ethic.


THE RETIREMENT
Joe Gibbs at Final News Conference as Redskins Coach
TWP File Photo
'He Put Everything Into It'
In an emotional news conference March 5, 1993, (pictured), Gibbs cited a need to spend more time with his family and resigned after 12 seasons as head coach of the Redskins. He was succeeded by his assistant for many years, Richie Petitbon. Browse through the original Washington Post articles, columns and reactions after Gibbs's resignation.


© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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