NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel has died.
His son confirmed the news to the L.A. Times. The report says Fassel suffered a heart attack and died Monday while under sedation at a Las Vegas hospital.READ MORE: Islanders Limp Home Looking To Save Season Following Brutal Loss To Lightning In Game 5
Fassel coached the Giants from 1997 to 2003. He won NFL Coach of the Year in 1997 and led the team to the Super Bowl in 2000, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens. Fassel was 71 years old.
Giants mourn the passing of former head coach Jim Fassel
— New York Giants (@Giants) June 8, 2021
The Anaheim, California native was a college quarterback who was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 7th round of the 1972 NFL Draft. After a brief playing career that concluded following the 1975 season, Fassel went into coaching starting out as an assistant coach for The Hawaiians of the World Football League.
After several years coaching at various stops in the college ranks, Fassel got his first NFL coaching gig with the Giants in 1991, serving as the quarterbacks coach under Ray Handley. He was promoted to offensive coordinator the next season, before moving on to serve the same role with the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.
He returned to New York in 1997, taking over as head coach for the franchise and engineering a turnaround from last place in the NFC East to winning the division in his first season. That initial success was followed up with 8-8 and 7-9 seasons in 1998 and 1999 respectively. In 2000, Fassel’s Giants broke through, going 12-4 and winning the NFC before running into the Ravens all-time great defense in Super Bowl XXV.
The 2000 season was the high watermark of Fassel’s tenure as he had just one more winning season after that, in 2002, before being let go following a 4-12 season in 2003. He joined the Baltimore Ravens as an offensive consultant before serving two years as offensive coordinator under Brian Billick in 2005 and 2006.READ MORE: DeGrom Allows 1 Hit Over 5 Scoreless In Opener, Mets And Braves Split Doubleheader
The Ravens, Broncos and former Giants kicker Graham Gano all paid tribute to Fassel on Twitter.
Statement from Head Coach John Harbaugh: pic.twitter.com/MtZuZ6n4Ed
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 8, 2021
We’re saddened to hear of the passing of former Broncos Offensive Coordinator (1993-1994) Jim Fassel.
Our hearts go out to the Fassel family. pic.twitter.com/6Ez54KdfjW
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 8, 2021
Devastated to hear about the passing of Coach Fassel. He gave me a chance to play & believed in me when no one else did. Our team had so much fun winning the championship in Las Vegas. I’ll forever be thankful to have known him & for the opportunities he gave me & my family. pic.twitter.com/AFhCuAJPcY
— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) June 8, 2021MORE NEWS: Supreme Court Rules For Student-Athletes In Battle Over NCAA Limits On Certain Benefits