Joe Avezzano, the former Cowboys special teams coach who died today at the age of 68, is being remembered as a man who embraced football and embraced life with a passion that everyone who knew him admired.
“Joe Avezzano was a very special part of our Dallas Cowboys family and our organization’s history,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. “He was also a wonderful father, husband and friend. No one enjoyed life more than Joe, and no one that I know had a greater appreciation for the people that he loved and the lives that he touched. We grieve with [wife] Diane and [son] Tony and the thousands of fans who loved Coach Joe. He was an original. There was no one else like him.”
Said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, “There are not many days that go by where we are not sharing a legendary Joe Avezzano story or using a trademark Joe Avezzano expression. He was a wonderful friend. We loved him very much, and he will be sorely missed.”
Avezzano suffered a heart attack today in Italy, where he was spending the spring as a coach in a small Italian league of American football teams. His players were brought to tears today upon hearing the news.