‘Hogs’ cre­ator paved way to Super Bowls

As­sis­tant coach helped build Washington’s dom­i­nant lines

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS -

For­mer Washington Red­skins as­sis­tant coach Joe Bugel, re­garded as one of the top of­fen­sive line coaches in NFL his­tory, has died. He was 80.

Bugel died on Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the team, which did not dis­close a cause of death.

Bugel was the ar­chi­tect of “The Hogs,” the dom­i­nant of­fen­sive lines that helped lead the team to three Super Bowls un­der Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs.

Bugel was the team’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and of­fen­sive line coach from 1981-82 and be­came the as­sis­tant head coach in 1983, a role he had un­til 1989 be­fore be­com­ing the head coach of the Phoenix Car­di­nals.

He re­turned for a sec­ond stint with the team as as­sis­tant head coach- of­fense from 2004 to 2009.

“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,” Gibbs said in a state­ment.

“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.”

With play­ers such as Jeff Bos­tic, Joe Ja­coby and Hall of Famer Russ Grimm on the of­fen­sive line, Washington won the Super Bowl af­ter the 1982, 1987 and 1991 sea­sons with three dif­fer­ent quar­ter­backs.

Joe Theis­mann, the QB for the team’s first Super Bowl ti­tle, tweeted: “Joe Bugel was a friend as much as a coach. For those of us who had the priv­i­lege to know him we were blessed. He’ll have the best Oline in heaven. RIP Joe.”

Bugel was pro­moted to as­sis­tant head coach in 1983, the year the Red­skins scored a then-NFL record 541 points. That team reached the Super Bowl, where it lost to the Los Angeles Raiders.

In his first nine years in Washington, Bugel helped the Red­skins have four 1,000-yard rush­ers, one 4,000-yard passer and nine 1,000-yard re­ceivers.

Af­ter his first stint in Washington, Bugel was hired by the Car­di­nals as head coach in 1990. He led the team for four sea­sons be­fore join­ing the Oak­land Raiders as as­sis­tant head coach/of­fense from 1995 to 1996 and head coach in 1997. He coached the of­fen­sive line for the then-San Diego Charg­ers from 1998 to 2001.

Af­ter a two-year break from coach­ing, Bugel re­turned to the Red­skins in 2004 as as­sis­tant head coach-of­fense un­der Gibbs, al­though his pri­mary job was to work with the of­fen­sive line.

He stayed on as of­fen­sive line coach in 2008 and re­tired fol­low­ing the 2009 sea­son.

“I am ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated by the news of Joe’s pass­ing. Joe was a larger-than-life fig­ure and a true leg­end of his pro­fes­sion,” owner Dan Sny­der said in a state­ment.

“He ex­em­pli­fied what it meant to be a Red­skin with his char­ac­ter and abil­ity to con­nect with his play­ers along with a work ethic that was un­matched. We shared a spe­cial bond and he was a great friend.”

Bugel was born on March 10, 1940. A Pitts­burgh na­tive, Bugel was a two-way star in foot­ball at Mun­hall High School.

In 2005, he was in­ducted into the Penn­syl­va­nia Sports Hall of Fame (Western Chap­ter).

Bugel is sur­vived by his wife, Brenda, and daugh­ters Angie and Jennifer. His daugh­ter Holly Bugel died in 2008.


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