WASHINGTON - Joe Gibbs resigned as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins on Tuesday.
The Redskins said in a statement that Gibbs will remain part of the Redskins family and serve as a special adviser to owner Dan Snyder. Gibbs was to discuss his decision at a 3 p.m. news conference at Redskins Park.
The Redskins will begin a search for a new coach immediately. Among the certain candidates are two former head coaches on Gibbs' staff, Gregg Williams and Al Saunders.
Gibbs went 31-36, including 1-2 in the playoffs, after emerging from NFL retirement and his NASCAR career to sign a five-year, $27.5 million contract in 2004. He had always maintained that he intended to fulfill the contract, but the 67-year-old coach wavered from that stance Monday when asked if he would return for the final year of his deal.
Gibbs' resignation brings an apparent end to a Hall of Fame career in which he twice raised the Redskins from mediocrity into a playoff team, although he failed in his goal of bringing the team back to the Super Bowl during his second stint in Washington. Gibbs won three NFL titles during his first tenure from 1981-92; the second time around he took the team to the postseason in two of his four seasons.
Gibbs' resignation comes after one of the best coaching performances of his career, his leadership helping the Redskins focus after the death of safety Sean Taylor on Nov. 27. Washington won its final four regular season games after Taylor's funeral, going from 5-7 to 9-7 to claim the final playoff berth in the NFC.
The emotional run ended Saturday, when the Redskins lost 35-14 at Seattle in the wild-card playoffs.
"It was the toughest (season) for me," Gibbs said Monday. "When you go through a season like that, for a while it's kind of hard to re-grasp reality."