Richie Petitbon
No. 17, 16
Personal information
Born: (1938-04-18) April 18, 1938 (age 85)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Jesuit
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
NFL draft:1959 / Round: 2 / Pick: 21
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
  • Washington Redskins (19781980)
    Defensive backs coach
  • Washington Redskins (19811992)
    Defensive coordinator
  • Washington Redskins (1993)
    Head coach
Career highlights and awards
As a player
As a coach
Career NFL statistics
Interception yards:801
Fumble recoveries:13
Defensive touchdowns:3
Head coaching record
Career:4–12 (.250)
Player stats at · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Richard Alvin Petitbon (born April 18, 1938) is an American former football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). Petitbon first attended Loyola University New Orleans on a track and field scholarship and left after his freshman year to play college football for the Tulane Green Wave.[1] After playing as a quarterback at Tulane,[2] he played as a safety 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.[3] Petitbon also holds the Bears' record for the longest interception return, after scoring on a 101-yard return against the Rams in 1962.[4] As of 2019, he also holds the Bears record for the most interceptions in a game—3 against the Green Bay Packers in 1967—and most interception return yards in a season (212 in 1962).[5]

Coaching career

He returned to the Redskins in 1978 as the defensive backs 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, Petitbon was considered one of the top coordinators in football. When Gibbs initially retired in 1993, Petitbon 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 archrival Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Following his firing, Petitbon never took another job in the NFL.

Personal life

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.[6]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
WAS 1993 4 12 0 .250 5th in NFC East


  1. ^ "Richie Petitbon". Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  2. ^ "Gridiron great". Tulane News.
  3. ^ Mayer, Larry. "Tillman repeats stellar performance". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  4. ^ "Reed rumbles 108 yards for NFL record | Longest interception returns by team". Pro Football Hall of Fame. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  5. ^ "NFL Interception Return Yards Single-Season Leaders".
  6. ^