Ailing Breaux retires

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The Redskins just announced that longtime assistant coach Don Breaux has retired because of a heart condition.

Breaux, who’ll be 68 on Aug. 3, coached running backs for the Redskins during the 1981-93 glory days when they won four NFC titles and three Super Bowls. Four of his backs reached 1,000 yards: Hall of Famer John Riggins (1983-84), George Rogers (1985-6), Earnest Byner (1990-91) and Reggie Brooks (1993).

After a year with the New York Jets, Breaux coached for the Carolina Panthers from 1995-2002. Breaux returned to the Redskins in 2004 under his former boss, Joe Gibbs. While he had the title of offensive coordinator, Gibbs and then Al Saunders actually designed the offense. Breaux’s main responsibilities were in game-planning.

A quarterback for the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers for three seasons, the Jennings, La., native moved into coaching in 1966 at Florida State. Gibbs joined the staff the next year. They worked together again at Arkansas in 1971 before reuniting in Washington. All told, Breaux coached 40 seasons,  27 in the NFL.

 “I felt it was a privilege to coach for one of the NFL’s premier franchises for 17 years under an outstanding leader of men in Joe Gibbs,” Breaux said in a statement issued by the Redskins. “I also want to pay tribute to Dan Snyder, who I feel operates a first-class organization for the fans, players, coaches and staff. I wish the Redskins success under new Head Coach Jim Zorn. I was looking forward to working with Coach Zorn and the staff.”

Breaux’s departure leaves only offensive line coach Joe Bugel and tight ends coach Rennie Simmons from Gibbs’ original staff. Five other assistants — defensive coordinator Greg Blache, receivers coach Stan Hixon, safeties coach Steve Jackson, linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti and special teams coach Danny Smith — remain from the first season of Gibbs’ second Redskins tenure.

- David Elfin

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About the Author
David Elfin

David Elfin

David Elfin has been following Washington-area sports teams since the late 1960s. David began his journalism career at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., history) and Syracuse University (M.S., telecommunications). He wrote for the Bulletin (Philadelphia), the Post-Standard (Syracuse) and The Washington Post before coming to The Washington Times in 1986. He has covered colleges, the Orioles ...

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