Joe Bugel, Architect of Redskins 'Hogs' Offensive Line, Dies at 80

John Healy
June 28, 2020 - 4:07 pm

Joe Bugel, the former Redskins offensive line coach and architect of the famed Hogs of the 1980s, died at the age of 80, the team announced on Sunday.

Bugel spent 32 years coaching in the NFL, serving as head coach of the Phoenix Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, and as an assistant with the Detroit Lions, Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers.

He also worked as an assistant at the collegiate level at Western Kentucky, Navy, Iowa State and Ohio State.

He is most renown for his work in Washington, where he was brought in as the offensive line coach in 1981 under head coach Joe Gibbs, who also would give him the title of offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

Bugel began referring to his offensive line as “Hogs” in 1982 and the name stuck as their success resulted in commercials, posters and fans dressing as “Hogettes” in the stands.

Bugel won two Super Bowl rings with his “Hogs” and appeared in a third Super Bowl as well. Russ Grimm became a Hall of Famer, Joe Jacoby was a four-time finalist for Canton and four 1,000-yard rushers scurried in the backfield behind them.

His success in Washington led to head coaching opportunities in Phoenix and Oakland, but Bugel never found the same success as a head coach. He coached the Chargers’ offensive line for four seasons before leaving in 2001. He returned to work under Gibbs in Washington in 2004 until he retired after the 2009 season.

“Joe had an incredible passion for the game of football,” Gibbs said in a statement. “He came to worked very 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.”

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