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Long-time NFL assistant Mike Heimerdinger dies of cancer

Mike Heimerdinger AP

During the 2010 NFL season, former Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer.  Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Heimerdinger has passed away after fighting the disease for nearly a year.  He was 58.

Heimerdinger served as offensive coordinator in Tennessee twice, helping the late Steve McNair to a co-MVP award in 2003.  Heimerdinger also worked for the Broncos as assistant head coach and the Jets as offensive coordinator.

After being diagnosed with cancer in November, Heimerdinger delayed treatment so that he could travel with the team to Houston and call the plays for the Titans’ game against the Texans.

His college roommate was former Broncos and current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

We extend our condolences to Heimerdinger’s family, players, friends, and colleagues.

UPDATE 10:25 a.m. ET:  Former Titans coach Jeff Fisher has provided ESPN’s Chris Mortensen with a comment regarding Heimerdinger’s passing.  “He was passionate about the fight, obviously because of his love for his family but what also drove him passionately was his desire to get back on the sideline,” Fisher said.  “He loved his family, he loved this game and all that came with it.  We’ve lost a great one.”

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36 Responses to “Long-time NFL assistant Mike Heimerdinger dies of cancer”
  1. whatsafairway says: Oct 1, 2011 10:22 AM

    A sad day for the NFL, he was a truly inspiring individual.

    R.I.P.

  2. badphish24 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:23 AM

    Thoughts to his loved ones. R.I.P

  3. Andre's Johnson says: Oct 1, 2011 10:24 AM

    Ah, damn. RIP, coach.

  4. 14whodey18 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:25 AM

    Condolences to the Heimerdinger family….Cancer sucks.

  5. CKL says: Oct 1, 2011 10:30 AM

    So sad. :( RIP.

  6. nashvilletrojan says: Oct 1, 2011 10:32 AM

    RIP Dinger! Class guy……We’ll miss you.

  7. raiderlyfe510 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:38 AM

    Terrible news..sad day for the NFL.RIP to one of the great offensive minds.

    If anybody wanna know why Chris Johnson fell off…that’s your answer.

  8. halestorm74 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:39 AM

    Very Sad. RIP Coach

  9. jlb10 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:39 AM

    condolences and prayers go out to his loved ones. RIP

  10. texansfan2011 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:44 AM

    Sad story R.I.P. you will always be remembered in the NFL ranks and by fans…..

  11. cmb79 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:48 AM

    I hope in my lifetime that cancer will be abolished.

  12. kane337 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:49 AM

    So sad. My thoughts and best wishes to his family, friends, and loved ones. RIP.

  13. evomike06 says: Oct 1, 2011 10:49 AM

    RIP coach! You had a great influence on many peoples lives!!

  14. skins716 says: Oct 1, 2011 11:00 AM

    RIP coach

  15. eaglesfootballfan says: Oct 1, 2011 11:02 AM

    He will be greatly missed.

  16. bluewreckingcrew says: Oct 1, 2011 11:04 AM

    Big loss for the NFL. RIP Coach

    Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends

  17. muthafodder says: Oct 1, 2011 11:16 AM

    This is awful…loved this guy over the many years of him as a Titan…still stings he was let go.

    One thing I never understood, knowing his tenacity, was the secrecy of the type of cancer.

    Others knowing would only bring more awareness to what is the rare form that took his life.

    You were already missed Dinger!

    Peace be with your family.

  18. evomike06 says: Oct 1, 2011 11:17 AM

    How cold hearted can people be giving thumbs down to people for saying nice things..

  19. houseofspears90 says: Oct 1, 2011 11:21 AM

    RIP Coach.

    As a survivor myself, it is stories like this that make it even more real. Sadly there is also a sense of guilt for being a lucky one.

  20. myspaceyourface says: Oct 1, 2011 11:24 AM

    Whoever is insensitive to vote down on people giving their best wishes, condolences, and prayers are a sub species of human being.

  21. raider316 says: Oct 1, 2011 11:28 AM

    Who are the two goofs that rated thumbs down? Pathetic low lifes no doubt.

  22. jacunn2000 says: Oct 1, 2011 11:39 AM

    Wow, what kind of scumbag gives a thumbs down to someone saying a kindd word about someone dying of Cancer??? Messed up people in this world.you are hopefully in a better place coach.

  23. 2ruefan says: Oct 1, 2011 11:52 AM

    Just kind of a curiosity here.. can anybody explain to me why ANYONE would give a thumbs down to something as innocuous as a statement like “Thoughts to his loved ones. R.I.P”?

    Why do people have to do that?

    Just trying to be funny?
    Slipped with the mouse?
    Think is their job to be contrary?
    Zero Brain cells?

    I just don’t get it. I really don’t….

  24. gridassassin says: Oct 1, 2011 11:52 AM

    I didn’t give a thumbs down to anything on this thread… but I have accidentally on others. When using a smart phone to view these posts, sometimes a thumbs up and thumbs down – the icons are only a few millimeters away – and I’ve accidentally given a thumbs down or up. There’s no undoing it once you do it.

    Anyways… I pontificate. Cancer really sucks – God bless the Heimerdinger family and friends – it seems from all accounts that he was a great coach and a better human being. RIP.

  25. dkeyser says: Oct 1, 2011 12:04 PM

    Still blows my mind that there isnt a cure for cancer.. How is it we have 3d tvs, smart phones, advanced weapons, electric cars, ect ect, yet thousands die every year from a disease.. If half the time and money were put into research then we would have this thing fixed by now and not lose class acts like Coach Heimerdinger..

  26. tfbuckfutter says: Oct 1, 2011 12:20 PM

    “He was passionate about the fight, obviously because of his love for his family but what also drove him passionately was his desire to get back on the sideline,”

    Does that quote bother anyone else? It’s just a GAME. A JOB. Nobody fights Cancer because they desperately want to get back to their JOB. Why do coaches and athletes always do that? Elevate the game to the most important level of existence?

    RIP Mike, I’m sure your FAMILY misses you a whole lot more than the NFL, and vice versa.

  27. Andre's Johnson says: Oct 1, 2011 12:26 PM

    How do you ass clowns give thumbs down to someone giving condolences re: a cancer loss?

    I hope you just accidentally clicked the wrong button.

  28. ndomination says: Oct 1, 2011 12:42 PM

    Rest in peace… Have a beer up there with Killer Kowalski.

  29. azredbird4 says: Oct 1, 2011 12:44 PM

    An answer to an above post..”How cold hearted can people be to give a thumbs down?”…Those are the sub-humans that slither around amongst us.

  30. rajbais says: Oct 1, 2011 12:50 PM

    Best last name in football!!!

    Coach Heimerdinger, RIP!!!

  31. oarangecrush says: Oct 1, 2011 12:57 PM

    Rest well dinger! You will be missed!

  32. dramah says: Oct 1, 2011 2:35 PM

    Cancer sucks.

  33. aintsfan says: Oct 1, 2011 2:42 PM

    RIP Coach Dinger!

  34. NFLJunkie says: Oct 1, 2011 3:00 PM

    Dinger was a fun coach to watch and listen to — a creative, hard-edged guy who never talked in “coach speak” and was always candid, a guy who pushed his players hard but also had a wry (and self-deprecating) sense of humor. And as OC, he really had a major positive influence on the Titans, especially the way he took Steve McNair’s career to MVP heights, bringing out the best in his sometimes no-name supporting cast.

    Dinger wasn’t very well known to most NFL fans, and that’s too bad. He’ll be missed by many in Nashville. Condolences to his family and friends.

  35. Grulks says: Oct 1, 2011 3:24 PM

    Rest now Dinger, you’ve earned it.

  36. houseofspears90 says: Oct 1, 2011 11:21 PM

    tfbuckfutter says:Oct 1, 2011 12:20 PM

    “He was passionate about the fight, obviously because of his love for his family but what also drove him passionately was his desire to get back on the sideline,”

    Does that quote bother anyone else? It’s just a GAME. A JOB. Nobody fights Cancer because they desperately want to get back to their JOB. Why do coaches and athletes always do that? Elevate the game to the most important level of existence?

    RIP Mike, I’m sure your FAMILY misses you a whole lot more than the NFL, and vice versa.
    **********************************************

    When i was going through chemo therapy i prayed for any form of “normalcy”. I couldn’t work, couldn’t go to school, couldn’t do anything but sleep and get sick for 2.5 years. I think that is what they meant. He wanted to get back to his normal, and his normal was the sideline.

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