Joe Gibbs resigned as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins, three days after his team's playoff loss concluded a National Football League season marked by the killing of safety Sean Taylor.
|Joe Gibbs is a legendary figure in Washington |
The Redskins said in a statement that Gibbs will remain part of the Redskins family and serve as a special adviser to club owner Dan Snyder.
The Redskins will begin a search for a new coach immediately.
Among the certain candidates are two former head coaches on Gibbs' staff, Gregg Williams and Al Saunders.
"My family situation being what it is right now, I told him I couldn't make the kind of commitment I needed to make," Gibbs said while standing a few feet from the three silver Super Bowl trophies he won during his first tenure with the Redskins.
"I felt like they needed me."
One of his grandsons, Taylor, was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago at age 2.
Gibbs frequently talks lovingly about his "grandbabies", and he made an overnight trip to North Carolina on Sunday to be with his family, interrupting the postseason routine of meetings that usually follow the final game of the season.
Gibbs went 31-36, including 1-2 in the playoffs, after emerging from NFL retirement and his career as a stock-car racing team owner to sign a five-year, 27.5 million contract in 2004.
He had always maintained that he intended to fulfill the contract, but the 67-year-old coach wavered from that stance Monday when asked if he would return for the final year of his deal.
Hall of Famer
Gibbs' resignation brings an apparent end to an American Pro Football Hall of Fame coaching career in which he twice raised the Redskins from mediocrity into a playoff team, although he failed in his goal of bringing the team back to the title game during his second stint in Washington.
Gibbs won three NFL titles during his first tenure from 1981-92; the second time around he took the team to the postseason in two of his four seasons.
His decision to leave follows perhaps the best coaching performance of his career.
After the November 27 death Taylor, shot to death by burglars during a home invasion, the Redskins lost a game to Buffalo in which Gibbs was flagged for a vital 15-yard penalty for trying to call back-to-back timeouts in the final moments.
Gibbs said he wasn't aware of the rule, giving more fodder to the argument that his game management skills had waned.