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Legendary Washington offensive line coach Joe Bugel, famous for 'The Hogs,' dies at 80

Chris Cwik
·2-min read
Joe Bugel developed one of the best offensive lines of all time. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Joe Bugel developed one of the best offensive lines of all time. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

You can’t talk about Washington’s NFL success in the 1980s without mentioning Joe Bugel. Under Bugel’s guidance, the team’s fantastic “Hogs” offensive line paved the way for two Super Bowl titles during the decade.

Bugel died Sunday. He was 80.

Bugel filled a number of roles with Washington in the 1980s. He started as the team’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 1981. Two seasons later, he became the team’s assistant head coach. Bugel held that position until he was hired as the Phoenix Cardinals’ head coach in 1990.

He was most famous for developing “The Hogs,” a fierce offensive line that helped Washington’s offense put up big numbers every season.

In a statement on Washington’s website, former head coach Joe Gibbs called Bugel “a big part” of the team’s success in the ‘80s.

"Joe had an incredible passion for the game of football. 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," said former Washington Redskins Head Coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs.

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell called Bugel a “quality human being” in a statement.

After leaving Washington, Bugel spent four seasons as the head coach of the Cardinals, where he went 20-44. Bugel also spent one season as the Oakland Raiders’ head coach in 1997, going 4-12. Bugel returned to Washington for a second stint with Gibbs from 2004 to 2009.

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