Former Redskins Hog Joe Jacoby has dozens of accolades from his playing days, including:
- 4× Pro Bowl selection (1983-86)
- 2× Associated Press first-team All-Proselection (1983, 1984)
- 2× Newspaper Enterprise Association first-team All-Pro selection (1983, 1987)
- 1× Newspaper Enterprise Association second-team All-Pro selection (1984)
- NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
- 3*x Super Bowl champion (XV,XXII,XXVI)
- 70 Greatest Redskins
He has been a car dealer, a radio show host, and now is a football coach at Shenandoah University and the proud father of two daughters. As of today, he finally add “college graduate” to that list of accomplishments, nearly 35 years after he started. This evening, Jacoby will walk across the stage at the University of Louisville, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Rick Bozich of the Courier-Journal has the story:
Jacoby departed U of L after the 1980 season, skipped the spring semester and failed to finish the final 30 hours toward his degree.
“That bothered me because my wife (Irene) and I had always talked about the importance of education to our two daughters,” Jacoby said.
“How could I keep saying that when I didn’t have my degree?” Jacoby asked.
Bozich explains how Jacoby made the decision to focus on training for a life in the NFL, dropping out of classes after his senior season. Funny thing was, he passed through all 12 rounds of the draft and signed with the Redskins as an undrafted free agent.
The rest, as they say, is history. But his dream of graduating college was kept alive, thanks to the Houston/Bridgeman Fellowship Degree Completion Program. Now the ultimate team player can finally add something to his resume that’s just for him:
“I wasn’t sure this day would come,” said Jacoby, who retired in Warrenton, Va., after 13 seasons with the Redskins. “I’ve got three Super Bowl rings and great memories of everything we achieved as a team.
“But this is a different feeling of achievement because it’s an individual thing. There was nobody on the offensive line helping me through this. There were plenty of people encouraging me, especially my wife and daughters. Even (former Redskins coach Joe) Gibbs. But in the end I still had to get the work done.”
The article is definitely worth a read, as Jacoby talks about the deaths of his brother, father and mother during his late adolescence, which caused him to be an admittedly angry young man. He eventually found his calling in football, and channeled his emotions into the success of a team and the adoration of a city.
Here’s wishing you the very best on this special day. Congratulations, Joe!