J.D. Gibbs, Son of Hall of Fame Head Coach Joe Gibbs, Dies at 49

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2019

J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, speaks at a news conference during the NASCAR Media Tour in Concord, N.C., Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

J.D. Gibbs, the son of legendary Washington coach Joe Gibbs, died at the age of 49 on Friday as the result of "complications following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease."

Joe Gibbs Racing announced the news via Twitter.            

He was a co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing and served in a number of capacities, from tire-changer to driver to president and co-chairman.

Gibbs made 13 NASCAR national series starts from 1998 through 2002, and while his driving career did not take off, he took his experience in stride.

"My dad, he fired me in a nice way," Gibbs said in 2014, per NASCAR.com's Zack Albert. "He gave me an office and said, 'Hey, you're now the president, because you're a horrible driver.'"

Per Albert, Gibbs' health became an issue in 2014. It was revealed in March 2015 that he was receiving treatments for his disease, which was limiting brain function, including speech and processing issues.

Doctors determined the cause of the disease to be "head injuries likely suffered earlier in life," according to ESPN's Bob Pockrass.

Along with his career in NASCAR, Gibbs was a quarterback and defensive back at the College of William & Mary from 1987 through 1990.

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