Long-time NFL assistant Mike Heimerdinger dies of cancer

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.”

36 responses to “Long-time NFL assistant Mike Heimerdinger dies of cancer

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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….

  6. 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.

  7. 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..

  8. “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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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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