- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 30, 2016

RICHMOND — After Bobby Beathard fired Jack Pardee following the Washington Redskins’ 1980 season, he reached out to San Diego Chargers assistant Ernie Zampese and asked if offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs was ready for a head coaching gig.

With Zampese’s stamp of confidence, Beathard called Gibbs and offered him the job and they began brainstorming a coaching staff. The only problem was that Jack Kent Cooke, then the Redskins’ owner, wasn’t enthralled by the idea.

“Mr. Cooke said, ‘What are we going to do about a coach?,’” Beathard recalled on Saturday at the Redskins’ training camp facility. “I said, ‘I got a coach.’ He said, ‘What do you mean you’ve got a coach? You didn’t even tell me?’ I said, ‘We hadn’t hired him, but I got a coach I’m thinking of.’ He said, ‘OK who is it?’ I said, ‘You probably haven’t heard of him, a guy named Joe Gibbs.’ He goes, ‘Joe Gibbs? Who in the hell is Joe Gibbs? When we announce a guy named Joe Gibbs, they’ll crucify me!’”

After an 0-5 start, Cooke called Beathard and Gibbs to his house.

“[Cooke] said, ‘Joe, you’re the coach I always wanted,’” Beathard recalled. “‘I told Bobby to get Joe Gibbs and I don’t want you to screw this up.’”

After an 8-8 season, Gibbs went on to guide the Redskins for 11 more years in his first stint with the team and they won Super Bowls in 1982, 1987 and 1991. Beathard resigned in 1988, but many players on the 1991 championship team were ones he brought into the organization.

Beathard was recognized on Saturday when Redskins president Bruce Allen announced Beathard will be the 49th member of the team’s Ring of Fame. He will be honored before the Redskins’ Week 10 game against the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.

“Today is a great day for the Washington Redskins and our proud history,” Allen siad. “His resume is more than impressive. He’s been with seven different Super Bowl teams in his career, obviously the architect of the Washington Redskins.”

In Beathard’s 11 years with the Redskins, the team was 105-63 in the regular season and 11-3 in the postseason. He began his career in 1963 as a part-time scout with the Kansas City Chiefs during their stint in the American Football League. Beathard was the director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins from 1972-77 and then general manager of the San Diego Chargers from 1990-2000, following his tenure with the Redskins.

His teams made seven Super Bowl appearances. Along with the two Super Bowl victories, the Redskins lost to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1983. The Chiefs lost in 1966, the Dolphins won consecutive titles in 1972-73 and the Chargers lost in 1994.

“I was in the NFL a long time with different teams and my favorite memories are certainly here,” Beathard said. “When we were with the Redskins, my kids were growing up here. Went to high school in Virginia and went on to college in different places.

“I came to the Redskins from the Miami Dolphins and the year with the Dolphins, including the ‘72 season, undefeated and being with coach [Don] Shula, I learned a lot more than I ever had up to that point about football. When I got here, it was something I was anticipating would be a tough job, but when I learned about the Washington, D.C. area and the fans the Redskins have, I thought this will be probably the most fun I’ll have in football. I’ve never been in an area that had fans like the Redskins fans.”

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