Tony DeMeo


Racing to Win by Joe Gibbs

Racing to Win

By: Joe Gibbs

There was no better team in the NFL in the 80s than the Washington Redskins coached by Joe Gibbs. The Hogs as they were called had one of the most diversified offenses in the league. The other dominant team was The San Francisco 49ERs coached by Bill Walsh. I was intrigued with both systems.

I visited the ‘Skins pre-season camp at Dickenson College and was like a sponge soaking up the Joe Gibbs offense. He was one of the inventors of the now famous “Counter Trey” and he turned the Hitch route into an art form.

Being an option coach, I didn’t do much with the Counter Trey but the hitch route and all its variations became a big part of our pass game.

Joe Gibbs’ book brings a lot more to the table than just his success on the football field. Though Coach Gibbs led the Redskins to three Super Bowl victories, there is a lot more to Joe’s story than Xs and Os.

Racing to Win takes you through his early years as a college assistant dragging his family across the country looking for the big break. And it also talks about his frustration as the Tampa Bucs Offensive Coordinator and having one of the worst records in the NFL. Joe bares his soul when he discusses his poor financial decisions that had him on the verge of bankruptcy even though he had just won his first Super Bowl. Reading about how Coach Gibbs handled his adversity was what really made this book a winner with me.

Of course Joe talks about the biggest moment in his life, the life changer and really the life saver. That was the moment that he declared Jesus his Lord and Savior. Everything changed after that moment because he was now free to live his life as God meant him to live it. His Faith became the cornerstone of his life.

Of course the book also chronicles Joe’s amazing success in NASCAR which was meteoric to say the least. I’m not a big NASCAR fan but it was interesting to me how Coach Gibbs used the exact same principles to build his NASCAR team as he did to build his Super Bowl winning Washington Redskin team.

One of my favorite part of the book was Coach Gibbs lists. I love to see a person’s philosophy in lists. For example:

“Joe Gibbs Seven Cornerstones Principles for Success”

  1. God wants you to be successful. The harder you work the luckier you get.
  2. Your promises should line up with God’s plan.
  3. All work done for the Lord is sacred. Let go and let God. Let God drive the car.
  4. Personal honesty and integrity really matter.
  5. Team players make the best players.
  6. Success comes to those who trust God. Trust God and he will fortify you.
  7. Be gracious and a servant to all. Jesus came to serve not to be served.

This is an outstanding book about a very successful coach who had to find himself before he could find success. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who might be going through a rough patch in their lives. It is very inspiring and reassuring to know that someone as successful as Joe Gibbs, a natural winner, had made his share of big mistakes and overcame them to achieve his dreams. I liked this book so much, I listen to the audiobook as well. I believe you’ll find it that compelling as well.

Tony DeMeo