Joe Bugel, Emmitt Thomas named as PFWA's Dr. Z Award winners

By The Sports Xchange  |  June 19, 2018 at 6:33 PM
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Joe Bugel and Emmitt Thomas have been selected as the Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman Award winners, the Pro Football Writers of America announced on Tuesday.

The award is given for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL. Zimmerman covered the NFL for 29 years as Sports Illustrated's lead pro football writer.

Bugel spent 27 of his 32 NFL seasons as an assistant coach. He perhaps is best known as "Boss Hog," the man who named and led the famed "Hogs" offensive line that guided the Redskins to the league's second-highest winning percentage during his first stint in Washington.

Bugel's offensive lines helped guide the Redskins to two Super Bowl victories, three Super Bowl appearances and four NFC Championship Game appearances.

He began his NFL career with the Detroit Lions (1975-76) as the offensive line coach and spent four seasons with the then-Houston Oilers in the same role (1977-80). Bugel's two stints with the Redskins (1981-89, 2004-09) were sandwiched around a head coaching stint with the then-Phoenix Cardinals (1990-93) and assistant roles with the Oakland Raiders (1995-97) and then-San Diego Chargers (1998-2001).

Thomas, who is entering his 38th season as an assistant, coached wide receivers upon joining the Redskins in 1986. He helped the team to an NFC Championship Game berth in his first season.

He transitioned to the defensive side of the ball in 1987, working primarily with defensive backs for the next eight seasons. The Redskins recorded 169 regular-season interceptions under his guidance from 1987-94, fourth-most in the NFL.

Thomas, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008, is in his ninth season as the defensive backs coach with the Kansas City Chiefs.

He began his NFL coaching career with the then-St. Louis Cardinals (1981-85) as a tight ends/wide receivers coach. After spending time with the Redskins, Thomas then served as defensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles (1995-98), Green Bay Packers (1999) and Minnesota Vikings (2000-01).

Thomas moved to the Atlanta Falcons and worked eight seasons (2002-09) as its secondary coach (2002-03), senior defensive assistant/secondary (2004-06), defensive backs (2007) and assistant head coach/secondary (2008-09). He also was Atlanta's interim head coach for the final three games of 2007.

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