Former Washington Redskins assistant coach Joe Bugel, considered one of the best offensive line coaches in NFL history, has died. He was 80 years old.
Bugel died Sunday, according to a team statement, which did not reveal 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 coach in 1983, a role he played until 1989 before becoming the head coach of the Phoenix Cardinals.
He returned for a second season with the team as assistant to the head coach of the 2004-09 offense.
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“Joe had an incredible passion for the game of soccer. He came to work every day with such excitement and his players respected him tremendously. The strength of our coaching staff on both sides of the ball was a key reason why we were so successful, “Gibbs said in a statement.
“Bugel was a big part of that and his impact was felt not only by the Redskins teams, but also throughout the league.” I will miss their friendship and always appreciate our late night arguments to put together the game plan every week. Pat and I will be praying for his wife Brenda, their girls, and their entire family. “
With players like Jeff Bostic, Joe Jacoby, and Hall of Fame Russ Grimm on the offensive line, Washington won the Super Bowl after the 1982, 1987, and 1991 seasons with three different quarterbacks.
Bugel was promoted to assistant coach in 1983, the year the Redskins scored an NFL record of 541 points. That team made it to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Los Angeles Raiders.
In his first nine years in Washington, Bugel helped the Redskins have four 1,000-yard runners, a 4,000-yard passer and nine 1,000-yard catchers.
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 / offensive head coach from 1995-96 and head coach at 1997. Trained the offensive line for the then San Diego Chargers from 1998-2001.
After a two-year break from training, Bugel returned to the Redskins in 2004 as an assistant head coach under the Gibbs offense, though his main job was working with the offensive line. He remained as the offensive line coach in 2008 and retired after the 2009 season.
“I am absolutely devastated by the news of Joe’s death. Joe was a bigger than life figure and a true legend of his profession, “owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.
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“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 second to none. We shared a special bond and he was a great friend.”
Bugel was born on March 10, 1940. Born in Pittsburgh, Bugel was a soccer star 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.