The Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced on Tuesday that two former Washington Redskins assistant coaches – Joe Bugel and Emmitt Thomas – have been selected as the Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman award winners for 2018.
This award, which was created by the PFWA in 2014, is given for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL. It was named after Zimmerman, who covered the NFL for nearly 30 years as Sports Illustrated's lead pro football writer.
Both coaches were instrumental to Washington's successful run throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, culminating with three Super Bowl victories.
Bugel first joined the Redskins as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach during the 1981 and 1982 seasons. Bugel was then promoted to the role of assistant head coach and offensive line coach in 1983, holding the position until the 1989.
During those seven seasons, Bugel, who was nicknamed "Boss Hog" oversaw one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history, commonly known as the "Hogs." Bugel worked with future Pro Football Hall of Famer Russ Grimm, who was a four-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro (1983-86). Additionally, Grimm was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1980s.
Tackles Joe Jacoby and Jim Lachey along with center Jeff Bostic were also selected as Pro Bowlers under Bugel's tenure in Washington.
Under Bugel's guidance across the 1981-89 regular seasons, the Redskins finished fourth in the NFL in points per game (24.1) and fifth in total offense (357.1 yards per game), while also ranking third in the league in rushing touchdowns (157) and fourth in sacks allowed (295).
After stints with the Phoenix Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, Bugel returned to Washington in 2004 as assistant head coach/offense before spending his final two seasons as an NFL coach as the team's offensive line coach from 2008-09.
Thomas, meanwhile, joined the Redskins in 1986 as wide receivers coach before transitioning to defensive side of the ball, primarily working with the defensive backs.
In his lone season as wide receivers coach, Thomas oversaw a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Gary Clark (1,265) and Art Monk (1,065) as Washington finished fifth in the league in total yards per game (350.1).
During his eight seasons as defensive backs coach, the Redskins recorded 169 interceptions, fourth-most in the NFL from 1987-84. He was on staff for the Redskins' victories in Super Bowl XXII and XXVI.
Thomas was inducted into to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008 alongside cornerback Darrell Green and Monk.
Bugel and Thomas join the following Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman Award winners:
2014 – Jim Johnson, Howard Mudd, Fritz Shurmur and Ernie Zampese
2015 – Dick LeBeau, Tom Moore and Dante Scarnecchia
2016 – Monte Kiffin and Wade Phillips
2017 – Bud Carson