Jim Fassel

Date of birth August 31 1949 (1949-08-31) (age 71)
Place of birth Anaheim, California
No. N/A
Career highlights
Coaching Record / Statistics
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Career player statistics (if any)
Team(s) as a player (if any)
Team(s) as a coach/administrator (if any)


Stanford (AC)
New Orleans Breakers (OC)
Utah (HC)
New York Giants (QB/OC)
Denver Broncos (OC)
Oakland Raiders (QB)
Arizona Cardinals (OC)
New York Giants (HC)
Baltimore Ravens (OC)
Las Vegas Locomotives (HC)

James Edward "Jim" Fassel (born August 31, 1949) is the head coach, general manager, and president of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League. He is most widely known as the former head coach of the NFL's New York Giants.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

Fassel played high school football for the legendary coach Clare Van Hoorebeke at Anaheim High School, where his father was the equipment manager.

College/professional career[edit | edit source]

Fassel played quarterback at Long Beach State after playing at USC in 1969. He was drafted in the 7th round by the Chicago Bears in the 1972 NFL Draft. He played briefly with The Hawaiians of the WFL in 1974, and became an assistant coach during the 1974 WFL season when the team brought New York Giants quarterback Randy Johnson in from the NFL. He left the WFL after the '74 season, and was working in air conditioning in Utah when the Hawaiians needed a quarterback late in the 1975 season. He played in the final game of the WFL for the Hawaiians, throwing the last pass in the league's history as the WFL folded three days later on October 22, 1975. Jim Fassel's total passing stats with the Hawaiians for 1974 and 1975 were 16 completions out of 39 attempts for 205 yards. He did not throw any touchdowns and was intercepted four times.

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

Before 1998[edit | edit source]

Fassel began his career with assistant coaching stints at Utah and Stanford, working with John Elway at Stanford. He also served as head coach of Utah. Prior to becoming New York Giants head coach, Fassel served as an assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Oakland Raiders. Jim Fassel's first pro coaching job was with the Hawaiians of the World Football League in 1974. He played QB and then moved to the sidelines. Fassel was an offensive assistant coach under Mike Giddings.

New York Giants[edit | edit source]

During Fassel's time as Giants head coach, his teams were known for numerous post-season runs in December and for winning big games, such as against the previously undefeated Denver Broncos in 1998. In 1997, he was named NFL coach of the year. He resurrected the career of quarterback Kerry Collins and received acclaim for his "playoff guarantee" in the 2000 season, during which he led the Giants to an improbable Super Bowl appearance.

However, his legacy as head coach for the Giants is mixed. Fassel's Giants were known for their disappointments against inferior teams in the regular season, as well as in the playoffs. The most notable loss was a shocking 39-38 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2002 postseason, in which they blew a 38-14 third quarter lead. During the 2003 season, injuries decimated the Giants and he was fired amidst some controversy.

While coaching for the Giants, Fassel resided in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey.[1]

Baltimore Ravens[edit | edit source]

Critics of Fassel have pointed to his lack of success after two seasons with the Ravens, in 2004 and 2005. During that time, the Ravens ranked near the bottom of the league in offense.

On October 17, 2006, Fassel was fired as offensive coordinator for the Ravens.[2]

Coaching prospects[edit | edit source]

It is believed that Fassel had been in contention for the Washington Redskins head coaching position in 2004, but when former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs agreed to come out of retirement, team owner Dan Snyder hired the Hall of Fame three-time Super Bowl winner.[3]

On January 23, 2008, it was reported in Newsday.com that Jim Fassel was again the leading candidate for the Redskins' head-coaching position, which opened up as a result of Joe Gibbs' retirement for the second time in that position. However, on February 9, 2008, Jim Zorn was hired as the new Redskins' head coach.

In November 2008, Fassel reportedly sent a letter to Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis expressing interest in becoming the next head coach of the Raiders.

In January 2009, Fassel was interviewed by Billy Devaney for the head coaching position for the St. Louis Rams, but the position instead went to Steve Spagnuolo.

Las Vegas Locomotives[edit | edit source]

In January 2009, Fassel was named coach of the Las Vegas entrant into the United Football League. The Locos finished the regular season 4-2 and defeated the 6-0 Florida Tuskers in the first UFL Championship Game.[4]

Jim Fassel returned to the Locos in 2010 and repeated as champions, again defeating the Tuskers in the 2010 UFL Championship Game.

Broadcasting career[edit | edit source]

Fassel entered broadcasting following his firing as offensive coordinator for the Ravens, joining Westwood One radio as a color commentator for its Sunday NFL action. He stayed with the network for two seasons, calling Sunday afternoon games with Harry Kalas in 2007 and Sunday Night Football with Dave Sims. Fassel was also part of Westwood One's playoff coverage those two years, calling various games, and worked the 2007 and 2008 NFC Championship Games with Bill Rosinski (2007) and Marv Albert (2008).

Head coaching record[edit | edit source]

College[edit | edit source]

Professional[edit | edit source]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYG 1997 10 5 1 .656 1st in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Minnesota Vikings in Wild Card Round.
NYG 1998 8 8 0 .500 3rd in NFC East - - - -
NYG 1999 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC East - - - -
NYG 2000 12 4 0 .750 1st in NFC East 2 1 .667 Lost to Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.
NYG 2001 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC East - - - -
NYG 2002 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in Wild Card Round.
NYG 2003 4 12 0 .250 4th in NFC East - - - -
NYG Total 58 53 1 .522 2 3 .400 -
LVL 2009 4 2 0 .667 2nd in UFL 1 0 1.000 2009 UFL Champions
LVL 2010 5 3 0 .625 1st in UFL 1 0 1.000 2010 UFL Champions
LVL Total 9 5 0 .643 2 0 1.000 2 William Hambrecht Championships
Total 67 58 1 .536 4 3 .571 -

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Before the 2003 NFL season, Fassel was reunited with a son, John Mathieson, whom he and his wife Kitty gave up for adoption in 1969. The couple was unmarried when he was born.

In 2004 and 2005, Jim and Kitty Fassel owned a Quiznos restaurant in Denville, New Jersey. Their son Brian was in charge of day to day operations. The store was sold in April 2005 but has since closed.

Jim Fassel is the father of John Fassel, currently the special teams coach for the Oakland Raiders.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Anderson, Dave. "Sports of The Times; Fassel's Finished Basement", The New York Times, March 2, 2001. Accessed November 2, 2007. "Maybe that explains how the Fassels celebrated when he returned to their Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., home on Tuesday with a four-year, $10.75 million contract -- a guarantee that they will be living at the same address for at least eight years, their longest consecutive residence."
  2. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/ravens/2006-10-17-fassel-fired_x.htm?POE=SPOISVA
  3. http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/ny-spnfl235548456jan23,0,1408483.story
  4. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aYkJkibYDEfY&refer=us
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