Of­fen­sive line guru led Raiders in 1997

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTS - STAFF AND NEWS SER­VICES

For­mer Oak­land Raiders head coach Joe Bugel, re­garded as one of the top of­fen­sive line coaches in NFL his­tory, has died. He was 80.

Bugel died Sunday, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from Washington’s NFL team, which did not dis­close a cause of death.

He was the Raiders’ as­sis­tant head coach/of­fense in 1995 and ’96 and their head coach in 1997. Oak­land went 4­12 in ’97, and Jon Gru­den re­placed Bugel for the 1998 sea­son.

For­mer Raiders wide re­ceiver Tim Brown tweeted, “Sad­dened to hear of the pass­ing of le­gendary coach Joe Bugel. He was a pas­sion­ate but soft hearted coach who cared about the play­ers. One of his fa­vorite say­ings was, “men, this week’s game is gonna be a Don­ny­brook”! No more Don­ny­brooks coach, RIP!!”

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

Bugel was the team’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and of­fen­sive line coach in 1981 and ’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 Washington as as­sis­tant head coach­of­fense from 2004 through ’09.

“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 ... teams, but truly across the en­tire league. I will miss his friend­ship and I will al­ways cher­ish our latenight ar­gu­ments putting to­gether the game plan each week.”

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 Washington scored a then­nfl record 541 points.

That team reached the Su­per Bowl, los­ing to the Los An­ge­les Raiders.

In his first nine years in Washington, Bugel helped the team have four 1,000­yard rush­ers, one 4,000­yard passer and nine 1,000­yard 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, go­ing 20­44. He coached the of­fen­sive line for the then­san Diego Charg­ers from 1998 through 2001.

After a two­year break from coach­ing, Bugel re­turned to Washington in 2004 as as­sis­tant head coach­of­fense un­der Gibbs, al­though his pri­mary job was to work with the of­fen­sive line. He stayed as of­fen­sive line coach in 2008 and re­tired fol­low­ing the 2009 sea­son.

Bugel was born March 10, 1940. A Pitts­burgh na­tive, Bugel was a two­way player in foot­ball at Mun­hall High School. Bugel is sur­vived by his wife, Brenda, and daugh­ters Angie and Jen­nifer. His daugh­ter, Holly Bugel, died in 2008.

Brant Ward / The Chron­i­cle 1997

Joe Bugel, known for his work as an of­fen­sive line coach, went 4­12 in 1997 in his only sea­son as the Raiders’ head coach, but it wasn’t for a lack of in­ten­sity.

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