Jim Fassel, Former New York Giants Head Coach, Dead At 71

By Jason Hall

June 8, 2021

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

Fassel's son, Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel, confirmed his father's death to the Los Angeles Times on Monday (June 7) evening and said he was notified of the news during a phone call in the afternoon.

Jim Fassel, an Anaheim native who lived in Las Vegas, experienced chest pains Monday and was transported to a local hospital by a friend before dying of a heat attack while under sedation, his son confirmed.

The Los Angeles Times reports the entire Fassel family has since come together in Las Vegas following the veteran coach's passing.

Fassel began his NFL coaching career with the New York Giants in 1997, which concluded with a 10-5-1 overall record, first place finish in the NFC East and winning the NFL Coach of the Year Award during his first season.

The Giants finished the 2000 season with a 12-4 record and win the NFC Championship before being defeated by the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV during the coach's fourth season.

Fassel finished his NFL coaching career with a 58-53-1 (.552%) overall record during seven seasons as the Giants' head coach.

Legendary former Giants defensive end and Good Morning America host Michael Strahan said he was "shocked" when he heard the news of his former coach's passing Tuesday (June 8) morning.

"Just a great man, great coach," Strahan said during Tuesday's broadcast of Good Morning America. "And, he will be missed. But, I was definitely shocked this morning to find out this news and I just wanted to send my love and condolences to his family. Great man. Enjoyed every minute with him as my coach and after my career we continued to stay in touch and talk."

Fassel had otherwise spent the majority of his career working as a quarterbacks and offensive coordinator, which included stints at Utah -- where he eventually served as head coach from 1985-89 -- Weber State and Stanford at the collegiate level and the Giants, Denver Broncos, then-Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens at the NFL level.

Fassel's final coaching gig came with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, which included winning two league championships in 2009 and 2010 during his four seasons with the franchise.

The Southern California native played quarterback for Anaheim High before embarking on a collegiate career that included stops at Fullerton College, USC and Long Beach State.

Fassel was selected by the Chicago Bears in the seventh-round of the 1972 NFL Draft and also had stints that same year with the then-San Diego Chargers and Houston Oilers before making stops in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts and World Football League with The Hawaiians.

Photo: Getty Images

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