Joe Gibbs shares his memories of Don Coryell

Don Coryell wasn’t a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year because of his head coaching record.  It was largely because of the innovations he brought to the game and all the lives he changed along the way.

Joe Gibbs, who played and coached under Coryell, released a statement about his mentor on Friday.

“Don was a great leader and a great coach. The greatest testimony to
that is what his players all thought about him. The loyalty they all
had. When you played for him, which I did, you knew he put everything he
had into the game plan. He had a great passion for what he did.

“He certainly had a huge impact on my thought process and coaching
career and he bred an atmosphere of creativity. Here is a guy that was
successful coaching at a small college, a major college, and two
different pro stops. He truly was an icon in the coaching profession. We
will all really miss him. His family is in our thoughts and our

Coryell’s influence was vast, but we’re struck by the warmth and loyalty he engendered from his players — not always a common trait among great coaches.

We also appreciate that Coryell dared to be different in an industry that plays it safe. Rest in peace.

9 responses to “Joe Gibbs shares his memories of Don Coryell

  1. Several years while vacationing on Pen island I met Coach Coryell …………he was a nice gentleman…

  2. coming from Gibbs thats a HUGE compliment. Class breeds class. RIP Mr Coryell.

  3. RIP Coach, the early 80s Chargers were my first tastes of football and I’ve been hooked ever since.

  4. Nice comments from Gibbs. Any pics of him as a player? A reserve quarterback with bombsight specs?

  5. Air Coryell had a couple of young guys working under him at San Diego State named Joe Gibbs and John Madden. I don’t know if some of you pups knew Madden used to be a coach.
    Coryell also took a moribund St. Louis Cardinal franchise to the playoffs in 74 and 75 with his futuristic passing offense. Yes pups, the Cardinals were once in St. Louis. And in Chicago before that.
    And that 81 playoff game down in Miami was as good as it gets. Ah, back when the NFL was real football. Not the watered down product they sell us today.

  6. Joe Gibbs is simply the greatest coach ever no other team won 3 SB with 3 different QBs.

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