ESPN is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vince Lombardi with their “Greatest Coaches in NFL History” series, counting down the top-20 head coaches in NFL history as voted on by a panel of ESPN analysts and writers.
On May 24th, current Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was introduced on the list as the 19th greatest coach of all-time.
Shanahan isn’t the only Burgundy and Gold great to find his way onto the rankings though.
This week ESPN gave us their ninth greatest coach in NFL history, none other than Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs.
For Redskins Nation, this shouldn’t come as a shock. His extensive resume is well documented and deeply ingrained into the minds of Redskins fans both young and old.
He is the winningest coach in Redskins history with 154 regular-season wins and led the burgundy and gold to each of the franchises three Super Bowl victories with three different quarterbacks –the first and only coach to ever do so.
Gibbs was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
During Gibbs’ first stint in the nation’s capitol, the Redskins reached the playoffs eight times over a 12 year span, 11 of which resulted in a record above .500.
During his second tenure with the team from 2004-07, the team made another two playoff appearances.
The three-time NFL coach of the year retired once again in 2007.
Having coached under the great Don Coryell, Gibbs was regarded as an offensive mastermind, but aside from his football acumen and on-field accomplishments, Gibbs may be best known for his ability to lead and motivate with a level of class and professionalism that is unmatched.
ESPN’s voting panel consists of some of their most experienced broadcasters, analysts and writers including long-time host Chris Berman, Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, former general manager Bill Polian, and former coach Herm Edwards among many others.
Now many would argue that Gibbs deserves to be higher up on this list. ESPN columnist Rick Reilly – another voter on the panel – placed Gibbs second on his list, and found it absurd that he was placed as low as ninth.
Regardless of his place in the top half of the list, there is no denying Gibbs as one of the top 10 greatest coaches of all-time. His post-season accomplishments are matched by very few, and the mark that he left on Washington D.C. and the entire league, will never be forgotten.
Tags: Joe Gibbs, mike shanahan
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