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Former New York Giants head coach Jim Fasel died Monday after suffering a heart attack while undergoing sedation in Las Vegas. He was 71 years old.
Fasel’s son, John, confirmed the news to Sam Farmer from Los Angeles Times.
Born in Anaheim, California, he coached the Giants from 1997 to 2003. He was named NFL coach of the year after his first season as head coach and directed the franchise to the Super Bowl XXXV at the end of the 2000 campaign. before losing to the Baltimore Ravens.
The star of the long-time giants Michael Strahan remembered his former coach at ABC Good morning America in Tuesday:
Good morning America @GMA
“Just a great man, a great coach and he will be missed.”; @ Michaelstrahan reflects on his time with former Giants coach Jim Fasel, who died at the age of 71. Pic.twitter.com/jBZMevSw8A
Fasel set a record of 58-53-1 in the regular season and a result of 2-3 playoffs with New York.
Originally a quarterback, he spent time at Fullerton College, USA and Long Beach before being selected by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He also spent time with chargers in San Diego and the Houston Oilers during the one season in the NFL.
He continued to play for the Toronto CFL Argonauts and the WFL Hawaiians before beginning his coaching career in Hawaii in 1974.
Fasel’s first opportunity to head coach came at the University of Utah in 1985. He set a 25-33 record in five years with Utes.
He made the leap to the NFL level with the Giants as an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach in 1991 and returned as the team’s head coach in 1997 after a stay with three other organizations.
“The first year is one of my proudest moments,” Fasel told NY Sports Day’s David Russell in 2016. When I took the job, I knew there was something to be done. Then I saw all the magazines and we were the only team to be chosen last in all of them. I thought, “Nonsense, this could be more rude than I thought.” We became the first team to win the NFC East game and win the division. “
He later directed Locomotives in Las Vegas to the UFL titles in 2009 and 2010.
His son John is currently the Dallas Cowboys Special Team Coordinator. He previously served in the same role for the Los Angeles Rams, highlighted by a trip to the Super Bowl LIII at the end of the 2018 season.
“John has always taken advantage of the best of circumstances, and I think that’s why people like him,” Jim told the New York Post’s Steve Serby in 2019.
Fasel also worked as a radio broadcaster for Westwood One after finishing his time in the NFL.
He returned to the sidelines with Locos, who started 4-0 when the UFL ended in 2012, ending Fasel’s coaching career.