Jim Fassel, who served as the head coach of the New York Giants of the National Football League from 1997 to 2003, has died at the age of 71.
On Tuesday, the Giants said that family friends informed them of his death.
Jim’s son John Fassel, who is a special teams coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, confirmed the death to the Los Angeles Times.
John told the newspaper that his father was taken to a Las Vegas hospital with chest pain and died while being treated on Monday.
He said in a statement, “It is with a very heavy heart to announce that we lost our Dad yesterday. While our Dad will be remembered as a long-time face and fan in the football world, his legacy will live forever in our hearts as the greatest Dad and Grandpa of all time.”
Giants paid tribute to Jin by tweeting, “Giants mourn the passing of former head coach Jim Fassel.”
Jim, who won the 1997 NFL Coach of the Year, coached a number of outstanding players for the Giants, including Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.
He said, “Just a great man, great coach, and he will be missed. I enjoyed every minute with him as my coach and after my career when we continue to stay in touch and talk.”
Tiki Barber, former Giants running back, wrote on Twitter, “He challenged me to excel at the small things, then allowed me run with the big ones.”
Born on August 31, 1949, in Anaheim, California, Jim played quarterback at Fullerton College, USC, and Long Beach State. He was considered an offensive expert. He worked for the Giants as offensive coordinator in 1991 and 1992. Jim and his wife Kitty divorced in 2006 after years of counseling, but later reconciled and remarried.