A successful organization starts with its people.
This has long been the philosophy of Joe Gibbs. It helped carry him to three Super Bowl championships as the Pro Football Hall of Fame as head coach of the NFL’s Washington Redskins and has been a defining principle behind building Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) into one of NASCAR’s most successful multi-team racing organizations.
It also guides Gibbs’ latest project: “Game Plan For Life”, which is the title of his New York Times Best Selling book and corresponding ministry (www.gameplanforlife.com).
JGR has experienced amazing success and growth since Gibbs founded the operation in 1991. Beginning its first season of racing in 1992 with just 18 crew members, JGR now employs over 500 people. Despite the immense growth, the company remains defined by the same principles of its founder: Integrity, a relentless work ethic, determination, perseverance and team building.
Those principles have been the driving force behind JGR’s success including over 200 overall wins in NASCAR, three NASCAR Cup Series championships (2000, 2002, and 2005) and four NASCAR Xfinity Series Championships (2008 Owner’s Champions, 2009 Driver and Owner’s Champions, 2010 Owner’s Champions, and 2012 Owner’s Champions).
Gibbs was applying character based leadership long before he started in NASCAR. After 17 years of serving as an assistant coach to several college and NFL teams, Gibbs was hired as head coach of the Washington Redskins in 1981 and his determination and perseverance was immediately on display when the team lost its first five games. The Redskins rebounded to finish that season 8-8 and the following season, he would lead the Redskins to their first Super Bowl Championship in franchise history. Over the decade that followed he would lead the Redskins to three more Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowl XXII following the 1987 season and Super Bowl XXVI after the 1991 season.
Over that time he became one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, but he would retire from the NFL following the 1992 season to turn his attention to his family and the new race operations. Four years later he would receive the NFL’s highest honor with induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He would return to coach the Redskins again in 2004 and led the team back to the playoffs twice over a four-year span.
JGR would make its debut in the 1992, but it was a year later that JGR would claim its first victory, when Dale Jarrett captured the 1993 Daytona 500, known as the Super Bowl of racing, in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries car.
The growth and success of JGR has been extraordinary since that first victory, winning three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships and expanding from a single car operation in those early days to introducing a fourth-team for the 2015 season.
Gibbs now works daily with both his sons, J.D., his oldest, who is Co-Chairman of Joe Gibbs Racing and Coy, his youngest, Vice-Chairman/COO at JGR.
In addition to his working daily with his two sons, Gibbs is working to further spread the message of “Game Plan For Life” and also remains committed to Youth For Tomorrow, a home he founded in Bristow, VA that is now licensed to house up to 106 troubled boys and girls ages 11-18.
He and his wife Pat currently reside near JGR’s Huntersville, NC headquarters and enjoy spending time with all eight of their grandchildren.