It had been 11 years since legendary Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs roamed the sidelines in the NFL.
So, on Jan. 7, 2004, it stunned and immensely pleased Redskins Nation to hear that the three-time winning Super Bowl head coach would be returning to lead the burgundy and gold.
“The desire to coach has always been with me, even after being away from the game for 11 years,” Gibbs said in an announcement on the Joe Gibbs Racing Web site at the time.
“The Redskins are very dear to me and my family. We’re very excited about this opportunity to return to where we have so many friends and loyalties.”
Gibbs replaced Steve Spurrier, who preceded him with two losing seasons, and led the Redskins to two winning seasons in four years, including a playoff victory against Tampa Bay in the 2006 Wild Card round.
The Redskins finished 2007 — his last season as coach of the team — with a 9-7 record and playoff berth, beating the Cowboys at home in the last game of the regular season. Gibbs retired on Jan. 8, 2008.
Gibbs led the team in his first stint as head coach to eight playoff appearances in 12 seasons along with a .683 winning percentage that ranks third in NFL history.
He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
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