Richard Alvin Petitbon (born April 18, 1938) is a former American football safety and head coach of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. After playing college football at Loyola of the South and Tulane, he played for the Chicago Bears from 1959 to 1968, the Los Angeles Rams in 1969 and 1970, and the Washington Redskins in 1971 and 1972. Petitbon recorded the second most interceptions in Bears history with 38 during his career, trailing Gary Fencik. Petitbon also holds the Bears record for the longest interception return, after scoring on a 101-yard return against the Rams in 1962.
He returned to the Redskins in 1978 as secondary coach under Jack Pardee. From 1981 to 1992, he was the Redskins' defensive coordinator under head coach Joe Gibbs, either alone or sharing the job with Larry Peccatiello. During this time period, Petibone was considered one of the top coordinators in football. When Gibbs initially retired in 1993, Petibone was named his successor. He did not find the same success as a head coach, lasting only one season. Aging and underachieving, the team finished 4-12 and Petibon was dismissed by Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke in favor of arch rival Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Following his firing, Petibone never took another job in the NFL.
His brother, John Petitbon, also played in the NFL. Both Petitbon brothers are members of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame.
- ^ Mayer, Larry. "Tillman repeats stellar performance". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
- ^ "Reed rumbles 108 yards for NFL record | Longest interception returns by team". Pro Football Hall of Fame. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
- ^ NOLA.com
By Dean Hanley
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