Joe Gibbs Returns to NFL as Head Coach of the Washington Redskins
Joe Gibbs Racing Remains Committed to Winning
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (Jan. 7, 2004) - Joe Gibbs, former head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins and owner of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), announced today his return as head coach of the Washington Redskins.
Gibbs retired as head coach of the Washington Redskins following the 1992 season after leading the Redskins to three Super Bowl victories in four appearances. In 12 seasons from 1981 to 1992, Gibbs' record with the Redskins was 140-65 with a 16-5 playoff record. He was inducted into the Pro Football of Fame in 1996 - his first year of eligibility.
"The desire to coach has always been with me, even after being away from the game for 11 years," said Gibbs, whose contract with the Redskins will run for five years. "After speaking with my wife Pat, we both agreed it would be a thrill to go back. I appreciate (Redskins owner) Daniel Snyder giving me the opportunity to coach again. But rest assured, I remain personally committed to Joe Gibbs Racing and each and every sponsor who supports the many employees of Joe Gibbs Racing. I'm pleased to play a leadership role in the first and second largest spectator sports in America while maintaining strong relationships with all of our race team's loyal sponsors."
JGR, winner of two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series championships and 40 Nextel Cup victories since its inception in 1992, will not be affected by Gibbs' return to the NFL sideline. Key management remains in place, with Gibbs' oldest son - J.D. Gibbs - continuing his role as team president. Jimmy Makar solidifies the management structure as senior vice president of racing, while each team's respective crew chiefs direct the racing operations. Joe Gibbs will remain as the race team's CEO.
"This move gives our sponsors added value in terms of gaining national exposure," said J.D. Gibbs. "JGR is a strong organization and it's in capable hands. I'm thrilled for my mom and my dad, and I feel great about the state of this race team and its future success on the race track."
Prior to making his decision to return to the NFL, Joe Gibbs met with the race team's key corporate sponsors, most notably The Home Depot and Interstate Batteries.
"Joe Gibbs is an integral part of The Home Depot family, and I speak for the more than 300,000 company associates in support of his new challenges as coach of the Washington Redskins," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO, The Home Depot. "Given Joe's success at building teams, it comes as no surprise that he would add NFL coach to his current responsibilities for the #20 Home Depot car driven by Tony Stewart. We look forward to a successful 2004 season with Joe Gibbs Racing."
"All of us at Interstate are extremely excited for Joe and look forward to the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry heating up again," said Norm Miller, chairman of the Dallas-based Interstate Batteries. "Joe Gibbs has been terrific for racing, leading Interstate and Bobby Labonte to the series championship in 2000, and I know he will quickly return the Redskins to Super Bowl form."
In addition to meeting with the race team's sponsors, Joe Gibbs also visited with his two Nextel Cup drivers, Labonte and Tony Stewart.
"I'm thrilled for Joe," said Labonte, who has driven for JGR since 1995. "(Wife) Donna and I think this is the coolest thing we've heard in a long time. The race team will be just fine, and all of us on the #18 team will work just as hard to win another championship in 2004."
"I'm very happy for him," said Stewart. "He's always been a coach, and football has always been very close to him. After working with Joe for a number of years, I know his commitment to winning is unmatched. Fans of the Redskins should be very happy."