Former Redskins coach Joe Bugel dies at age 80

Ethan Cadeaux
NBC Sports Washington

Former Redskins assistant coach and franchise icon Joe Bugel died on Sunday, the team announced in a release. He was 80 years old.

"I am absolutely devastated by the news of Joe's passing," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. "Joe was a larger than life figure and a true legend of his profession. 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. He was a man who not only gave me a better understanding of the game of football, but who also gave me perspective on what is truly important in life. I absolutely adored him and will miss him terribly. Tanya and I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Brenda and the entire Bugel family during this time."

Bugel, who served on Washington's staff from 1981-1989 under legendary head coach Joe Gibbs, is regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in NFL history. He was known as the architect for the Redskins famous "Hogs" offensive line, which included Pro Bowlers Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Mark May and Jeff Bostic. 

Bugel's unit one considered one of the most dominant in the NFL every year, and the offensive line played a major role in Washington's Super Bowl runs in 1982 and 1987. Behind the "Hogs," the Redskins had four running backs finish with over 1,000 yards during Bugel's eight-year run with the Redskins.

"Joe had an incredible passion for the game of football," Gibbs said. "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. 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."

Bugel was hired by the Phoenix Cardinals in 1990, where he would serve as the team's head coach for four seasons. After that, he would spend three years in Oakland, the first two as an assistant before being promoted to head coach for the 1997 season.

In 2004, when Gibbs returned to Washington for his second stint as head coach of the Redskins, Bugel returned as well. He remained the team's offensive line coach for six seasons before retiring in 2009. By the time he retired, Bugel had a remarkable 32 years of NFL coaching experience.

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Former Redskins coach Joe Bugel dies at age 80 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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