Jim Fassel, former Giants coach, dead at 71

Former Giants coach Jim Fassel died Monday night at the age of 71.

Former Giants coach Jim Fassel died Monday night at the age of 71, his son, John, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times.

Fassel suffered a heart attack and died while under sedation at a local hospital near where he lived in Las Vegas, according to the LA Times report. He had been experiencing chest pains Monday and was taken to the hospital by a friend.

Fassel coached the Giants from 1997 to 2003, winning NFL Coach of the Year in 1997 and leading the team to Super Bowl XXXV three years later, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

Jim Fassel coached the Giants from 1997 to 2003, winning NFL Coach of the Year in 1997.
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Jim Fassel suffered a heart attack and died while under sedation at a local hospital near where he lived in Las Vegas.
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He reached the playoffs three times with Big Blue and compiled a 58-53-1 record, but never got another opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL after being fired by the Giants. He was also an assistant with the team from 1991 to 1992.

Fassel was born in Anaheim, California, and graduated from Anaheim High School before playing football at Fullerton College, USC and Long Beach State. He was drafted by the Bears to play quarterback in 1972 but had a short playing career, bouncing among three teams that year before stints in the CFL and World Football League.

He began his coaching career soon after and ended up as the offensive coordinator for Stanford University, where he helped recruit John Elway and turned him into the No. 1 overall pick in 1983.

Jim Fassel coaches John Elway at Stanford.
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He was the head coach at the University of Utah from 1985 to 1989 before entering the NFL, working as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for a number of teams including the Giants and Broncos, where he reunited with Elway.

His tenure as Giants head coach lasted from 1997 to 2003 and was full of ups and downs – his 2002 team blew a 24-point lead to the 49ers in the playoffs – but he was remembered fondly by Giants fans.

His most recent coaching experience came in the since-disbanded United Football League, where he led the Las Vegas Locomotives to two championships in 2009 and 2010.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Joseph Staszewski

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