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Bugel Tabbed For Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame

Assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel, one of the legendary coaches in franchise history, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (Western Chapter) in ceremonies on Saturday, May 7, in Pittsburgh.

Prior to the induction, Bugel talked with about the honor.

"It's a very prideful event," Bugel said. "So many people share in this award that I'm receiving because going back to Pittsburgh where I was born and raised, the people I know at this banquet have a great passion and great loyalty.

"It's going to be a sight to see. I've got 30 family members coming to it. I know my brother and sister are coming. My dad passed away a couple of months ago, but I know he's up there watching. This is a special occasion. It's kind of the icing on the cake of a football career."

Bugel was one of 13 new inductees into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (Western Chapter).

Others included Jim Leyland, who managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1986-96 and then led the Florida Marlins to a World Series title in 1997, and former Pittsburgh Steelers public relations director Joe Gordon.

The Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame is in its 42nd year. The long list of other prominent sports figures already enshrined by the organization includes Roberto Clemente, Arnold Palmer and Chuck Knox.

The NFL has had its share of star players and coaches from Western Pennsylvania. Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Jim Kelly, Joe Namath and Dan Marino all hail from Western Pennsylvania. Redskins' three-time Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington grew up in Pittsburgh.

"[Western Pennsylvania] is a more family-oriented place than any place I've ever been," Bugel said. "From little league to pro football, the moms and dads are always cheering for you.

"I think the passion for sports starts with the family. Playing sports is a big part of family life there and I think that's why so many great athletes come out of there."

A Pittsburgh native, Bugel was a four-sport star in football, basketball, baseball and volleyball at Munhall High School during the late 50s.

The NFL coaching legend has a long and storied history with the Redskins that includes building the legendary "Hogs," the Redskins offensive line of the 1980s.

Under head coach Joe Gibbs, from 1981-89, Bugel developed the dominating "Hogs" offensive line that included stalwarts Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Mark May, Jeff Bostic and George Starke. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 1983, the year the Redskins scored a then-NFL record 541 points.

Washington won two Super Bowls while Bugel was with the team, following the 1982 and 1987 seasons.

Before returning to the Redskins organization in 2004, Bugel spent four seasons overseeing the offensive line of the San Diego Chargers (1998-2001). He spent three seasons with the Oakland Raiders, serving as assistant head coach/offense from 1995-96 before being named head coach in 1997 season.

In addition, Bugel was head coach of the Arizona Cardinals between 1990 to 1993.

He joined the NFL in 1975, spending two seasons as the offensive line coach for the Detroit Lions, following that up by joining the Houston Oilers in the same capacity in 1977.

At the college level, Bugel coached at Ohio State (1974), Iowa State (1973), Navy (1969-72) and his alma mater, Western Kentucky (1964-68), where he was an all-conference guard and linebacker.

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