- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. — Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs loves to say the NFL changes 30 percent every year, but one thing that doesn’t change is his love for the old days — when he was a lowly college assistant in the 1960s.

Yesterday, Gibbs regaled the audience at the NFL meetings with stories about working for fellow Hall of Famer/broadcaster/video game king John Madden at San Diego State and at Southern Cal for the late John McKay, father of Atlanta general manager Rich McKay, a candidate for NFL commissioner.

“I started out with [defensive coordinator] Madden,” Gibbs recalled. “I did everything. Wednesday nights I drove him to his classes at Fullerton [Junior] College. He sat in the back seat and smoked cigarettes and ate peanuts. We had a four-man staff. I ran off the game plans and went to get burgers at Jack in the Box. I only got in trouble with Madden if I left something off his burger. [But] he fired me after the spring game, and I said, ‘How can you fire me? I don’t even make any money.’ That’s how I went from defense to offense. I went into [coach] Don [Coryell] and said, ‘Hey, John fired me yesterday.’ And he said, ‘Why don’t you come over here?’ ”

Gibbs, a teetotaler, also laughed about being made to baby-sit then 10-year-old Rich McKay when the other USC coaches would go out drinking.

“They’d give me five bucks and say, ‘Take Richie and get him some pie,’ ” Gibbs said. “[Years later], I’d ask John how Richie was doing in college, and he’d say, ‘He’s doing fine. I think he’s majoring in airlines. He just flies back and forth. I see him on weekends when he drives a Lincoln and goes and plays golf.’ ”

— David Elfin

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