In today's Rewarding Moments In Washington History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back to January 13, 1981, when Washington hired Joe Gibbs as the head coach.
Following a three-and-a-half-hour conversation between Washington's former owner Jack Kent Cooke and general manager Bobby Beathard, the two decided to take a chance on the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs, officially hiring him as Washington's 20th head coach.
Gibbs' first year with the team did not get off to a hot start as it fell to 0-5 and finished the year 8-8, but Gibbs quickly turned it around as he lead Washington to win its first Super Bowl in franchise history the following year.
Coach Gibbs stayed with the team for another 11 seasons and turned Washington into a perennial postseason contender. This run consisted of eight playoff appearances, four NFC titles and three Lombardi Trophies (83, 88, 92), all with different quarterbacks at the helm.
Gibbs retired after the 1992 season and pursued his own company in NASCAR Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, but his story wasn't done quite yet. Gibbs would return to Washington for a second term as head coach and team president in 2004. Over the next three seasons, Gibbs led Washington to two playoff appearances in 2005 and 2007. After two successful terms in Washington, Gibbs ultimately decided to retire for good after the 2007 season.
Gibbs was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996 as well as named to the NFL 100-All Time Team. While Gibbs made football history, he also made sports history by being inducted the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2020, becoming the only person inducted in two sports. Joe Gibbs will go down as one of the, if not the greatest coach in Washington Football history.