Joe Gibbs, who has guided the Redskins into the National Football Conference championship game, has been named coach of the year in the National Football League by The Sporting News.
Gibbs quickly is becoming the league's consensus coach of the year. He previously had been honored by the Associated Press. The Pro Football Writers Associaton of America named him NFC coach of the year.
This latest award was special for Gibbs, since it came on a vote of his NFL coaching peers. He received 70 percent of the votes, with no other coach receiving more than two votes.
"It's just a great feeling to receive these kinds of honors," Gibbs said. "But I still think it's a reflection on the job this organization and this team has done this year."
Recent recepients of The Sporting News award have not fared well. Dick Vermeil (1979) quit after this season, Chuck Knox (1980) is unhappy in Buffalo and Bill Walsh (1981) is still undecided about San Francisco.
Since Vermeil left Philadelphia, saying he was burned out, Gibbs has been asked frequently if he is worried about the same problem. He says he feels challenged, not worried.
"To make a run at the gold ring (Super Bowl ring) is the ultimate challenge," Gibbs said. "Only 27 other people have my job. Only a few have this kind of opportunity. It's something you always are striving for, but you don't get that many chances to achieve. That's why you stay excited. And I'm excited about what is happening to us right now."
This is Gibbs' second year as a head coach. His first Washington team finished 8-8 after an 0-5 start. The Redskins now have won six straight, 13 of their last 14.
Jimmy the Greek favors the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins by one point in their conference championship games this weekend. Dallas plays the Washington Redskins at RFK Stadium Saturday and Miami is host to the New York Jets Sunday.