Joe Gibbs out as Washington Redskins coach

Gibbs is Gone:One of the all-time greats, Joe Gibbs has resigned as coach of the Washington Redskins. from reports at msn.com

WASHINGTON (AP) – Joe Gibbs resigned as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins this morning, three days after his team’s playoff loss concluded a season marked by the killing of safety Sean Taylor.

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 coaching 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.

It also follows one of the best coaching performances of his career, his leadership helping the Redskins focus after Taylor’s death 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.