Jim Fassel, who head coached the New York Giants from 1997-2003, passed away from a heart attack Monday at 71 years old.
The 71-year-old was taken to the hospital Monday while dealing with chest pains and passed away from a heart attack. Fassel’s son, John, confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times Monday.
Fassel is best known for taking the Giants to Super Bowl 35, a title game in which they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-7. The Giants were 12-4 that year and finished first in the NFC East before winning playoff games over the Philadelphia Eagles (Divisional Round) and Minnesota Vikings (NFC Championship). The latter game culminated with a final score of 41-0 — an absolute blowout at the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford.
It was an up-and-down head-coaching tenure for Fassel; a tenure that surely encompassed some low moments. The Super Bowl-appearing 2000 campaign was followed by a seven-win season in 2001. The 10-win 2002 regular season was followed by the disastrous Wild Card loss to the 49ers and then a 4-12 finish in 2003.
But obviously, the one thing that stands out about Fassel’s time as the leader of the Giants coaching staff is the Super Bowl trip — one of the five total in the history of the franchise.
Not every coaching tenure is linear. Fassel’s wasn’t, but his time with Big Blue should absolutely be appreciated. In the 55 NFL seasons in which the Super Bowl has existed, Fassel is one of three Giants head coaches to lead his team to the infamous game, Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin being the other pair of individuals to do so.