Jim Fassel

Jim Fassel
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1949-08-31) August 31, 1949
Place of birth: Anaheim, California
Career information
College: Long Beach State
NFL Draft: 1972 / Round: 7 / Pick: 167
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Win–Loss Record: 65–54–1
Postseason Record: 3–3
Overall: 68–57–1

James Edward "Jim" Fassel (born August 31, 1949) is an American former head coach of the NFL's New York Giants. He has served as offensive coordinator of other NFL teams, and as head coach, general manager, and president of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League.


Fassel graduated from Anaheim High School and played quarterback at Fullerton College, USC, and Long Beach State.[1] He was drafted in the 7th round by the Chicago Bears in the 1972 NFL Draft.

Fassel played briefly with The Hawaiians of the WFL in 1974, and became an assistant coach during the 1974 WFL season. He left the WFL after the '74 season, but briefly returned 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.

Coaching career

Fassel began his coaching career with assistant coaching stints at the University of Utah and Stanford University, working with John Elway at Stanford. He also served as head coach of Utah.

Fassel's first professional coaching job was with The Hawaiians of the World Football League in 1974, where he had played quarterback before moving to the sidelines as an offensive assistant coach. Before becoming New York Giants head coach, Fassel served as an assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Oakland Raiders.

New York Giants

During Fassel's tenure as head coach of the Giants, 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.

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 39-38 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2002 postseason, in which they lost 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 lived in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey.[2]

Baltimore Ravens

Critics of Fassel have pointed to his lack of success as offensive coordinator 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.[3]

Las Vegas Locomotives

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]

Fassel returned to the Locos in 2010 and repeated as champions, again defeating the Tuskers in the 2010 UFL Championship Game. The Locos tried to three-peat in 2011, but this time fell to the Tuskers (who had since been relocated and renamed the Virginia Destroyers) in the 2011 UFL Championship Game.[5] Fassel was the only current UFL head coach who was active in the league since its inauguration and was the Locos' head coach when the league suspended play in 2012.

Broadcasting career

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


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Utah Utes (Western Athletic Conference) (1985–1989)
1985 Utah 8–4 5–3 3rd
1986 Utah 2–9 1–7 9th
1987 Utah 5–7 2–6 7th
1988 Utah 6–5 4–4 5th
1989 Utah 4–8 2–6 7th
Utah: 25–33 14–26
Total: 25–33


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYG1997 1051.6561st in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Minnesota Vikings in Wild Card Round.
NYG1998 880.5003rd in NFC East - - - -
NYG1999 790.4383rd in NFC East - - - -
NYG2000 1240.7501st in NFC East 2 1 .667 Lost to Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.
NYG2001 790.4383rd in NFC East - - - -
NYG2002 1060.6252nd in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in Wild Card Round.
NYG2003 4120.2504th in NFC East - - - -
NYG Total58531.52223.400 -
LVL2009 420.6672nd in UFL 1 0 1.000 2009 UFL Champions
LVL2010 530.6251st in UFL 1 0 1.000 2010 UFL Champions
LVL2011 310.7502nd in UFL 0 1 .000 Lost to Virginia Destroyers in Championship Game
LVL2012 4001.0001st in UFL 0 0 -- None, cessation of league play
LVL Total1660.72721.667 2 William Hambrecht Championships
Total73591.55244.500 -

Personal life

Jim and Kitty divorced in 2006 after years of counselling.[6] Jim Fassel is the father of John Fassel, currently the special teams coach for the Los Angeles Rams.

Fassel is good friends with fellow coach Mike Holmgren, dating to their days as USC quarterbacks.[7]


See also

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