Former Giants head coach Jim Fassel dies at 71

Super Bowl XXXV - Baltimore Ravens v New York Giants
Getty Images

Former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel has died at the age of 71.

According to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel, Jim’s son, confirmed his father’s passing.

Fassel experienced chest pains Monday and was taken to a hospital before having a heart attack while under sedation.

Fassel was head coach of the Giants from 1997-2003 and led the franchise to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXV against the Baltimore Ravens. Fassel spent 16 years as a coach in the NFL with stints as an offensive coordinator for the Giants, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Ravens. He last coached in the NFL in 2006 with Baltimore and spent four years as a head coach of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League from 2009-2012.

Fassel also briefly played in the NFL after being drafted in the seventh round as a quarterback out of Long Beach State in 1972. He spent time with the Bears, San Diego Chargers and Houston Oilers before playing a season in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts and parts of two seasons with The Hawaiians of the World Football League.

The Locomotives won two of the three contested UFL championships and lost in the title game the third year to the Virginia Destroyers. The Giants made the playoffs in three of Fassel’s seven seasons as head coach with the trip to the Super Bowl in 2000 being the only time the team advanced beyond the Wild Card weekend.

Fassel was named the NFL’s coach of the year in 1997 in leading the Giants to a 10-5-1 record and a playoff berth in his first season as head coach.

31 responses to “Former Giants head coach Jim Fassel dies at 71

  1. That’s a tough way to go. Jim Fassel was a solid coach and a good man. RIP.

  2. From a Packer fan RIP. Will never forget his ” we’re workin” press conference. My condolences Giant nation.

  3. great man, great coach, survived by an even greater and better family!! we love you all and support you in your time of need

  4. It was epic that time he guaranteed a NY Giants playoff birth! RIP Coach! -Eagles fan!

  5. I thought he did a very solid job with the Giants. Leading that roster to the Super Bowl was quite an accomplishment. Never understood how he never got another head coaching opportunity when less accomplished guys got multiple gigs. RIP.

  6. I remember him vividly in the SB and after that as a Baltimore Ravens special consultant. He was Billick’s good friend I believe. So very sad because he was young from today’s standards. May he RIP and may his family find comfort.

  7. RIP coach. His playoff guarantee is one of the greatest coach speeches of all time. Should of gotten another opportunity as a HC.

  8. Jim Fassel was a great man and coach. He is from my high school, Anaheim High School, where his own father “Bud”, worked in the P.E. Department. Jim was a champion there in his own playing days. Just two years ago, he returned and financed a brand new training center for the high school. It’s an understatement to say that he will be greatly missed. RIP Coach.

  9. He helped Elway become a 4000 yrd season passer after Reeves left the Broncos and rejuvenated Collins career.

    RIP Coach Fassel

  10. RIP. That’s young today. My dad had a heart attack last year at 72 but miraculously survived. It’s a scary thing.

  11. Look at all the thumbs down being given to comments paying respect to this man. What is wrong with you people?!? A man has died prematurely due to a heart attack. A family man and by all accounts a good man. And you’re dissing people paying him some respect? WTF?

  12. I respected Jim. He was even hired by John Harbaugh years after the SB loss. Good person all around Condolences to the Fassel family.

  13. Always seemed like a good guy. Godspeed in the afterlife Jim, condolences to the Giants fans.

  14. He even showed class in his dismissal from NYG. Fassel went to Wellington Mara and asked flat out if he was going to be fired. Mara replied yes, the team would be going in a different direction. Fassel then asked if he could finish the season anyway so as not to disrupt the coaching staff, while still allowing Mara to look for his replacement. Mara gave him that respect and let him finish.

    RIP Jim.

  15. As a Bronco fan he was a great OC coach which lead to the Giants. Great respect & RIP. 1993 and 1994 seasons as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator and guided the team to a pair of top-10 scoring offenses

  16. Jim was one of my coaches at Stanford Coaching Camp in ’71 & ’72, along with several other future NFL coaches. RIP!

  17. Who the hell are the idiots who post thumbs down when posters are wishing Fassel’s family condolences?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.