American Football Database
Jim Fassel
File:Jim Fassel (cropped).jpg
Fassel at Nellis Air Force Base in 2011
Personal information
Born: (1949-08-31) August 31, 1949 (age 72)
Anaheim, California
Career information
High school:Anaheim (CA)
College:Fullerton College
Long Beach State
NFL Draft:1972 / Round: 7 / Pick: 167
Career history
As player:
* Chicago Bears (1972)
As coach:
* The Hawaiians (1974)
(Assistant coach)
  • Fullerton Junior College (1974)
    (Assistant coach)
  • Utah (1976)
    (quarterbacks and receivers coach)
  • Weber State (1977–1978)
    (offensive coordinator)
  • Stanford (1979–1980)
    (wide receivers/running backs coach)
  • Stanford (1981–1983)
    (Offensive coordinator)
  • New Orleans Breakers (1984)
    (Offensive coordinator)
  • Utah (1985–1989)
    (Head coach)
  • New York Giants ( 1991 1992)
    (QB/Offensive coordinator)
  • Denver Broncos ( 1993 1994)
    (Offensive coordinator)
  • Oakland Raiders ( 1995)
    (QBs coach)
  • Arizona Cardinals ( 1996)
    (Offensive coordinator)
  • New York Giants ( 1997 2003)
    (Head coach)
  • Baltimore Ravens ( 2004 2006)
    (Offensive coordinator)
  • Las Vegas Locomotives (2009–2012)
    (Head coach)
  • Career highlights and awards
    * NFL Coach of the Year (1997)
    Head coaching record
    Regular season:College: .431
    NFL: .522
    UFL: .727
    Postseason:NFL: .400
    UFL: .667
    Career:NFL: .517
    UFL: .720

    James Edward Fassel (born August 31, 1949) is a former American football coach. He was the head coach of the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) from 1997 to 2003. 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's first professional coaching job was with The Hawaiians of the World Football League in 1974, where he played quarterback before moving to the sidelines as an offensive assistant coach.[2][3] He then began his college coaching career with stints at the University of Utah, Weber State and Stanford University, where he worked with John Elway. After five months as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL,[4][5] he was named head coach at Utah on November 30, 1984.[6]

    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

    Fassel originally coached with Giants as an assistant in 1991 and 1992. Three weeks after the Giants won Super Bowl XXV, he was hired by Bill Parcells as their quarterback coach.[7] In 1992, he was promoted to offensive coordinator.[8]

    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 a victory 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.[9]

    Baltimore Ravens

    Fassel joined the Ravens as an Offensive Consultant in 2004 to help with development of Kyle Boller. He became the Ravens offensive coordinator in 2005. Critics of Fassel have pointed to his lack of success as offensive coordinator after two seasons with the Ravens, in 2005 and part of 2006. 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.[10]

    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.[11]

    Fassel returned to the Locos in 2010 and helped lead the team to repeat 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.[12] 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
    Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


    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 2011 3 1 0 .750 2nd in UFL 0 1 .000 Lost to Virginia Destroyers in Championship Game
    LVL 2012 4 0 0 1.000 1st in UFL 0 0 -- None, cessation of league play
    LVL Total 16 6 0 .727 2 1 .667 2 William Hambrecht Championships
    Total 73 59 1 .552 4 4 .500 -

    Coaching tree

    Assistants under Jim Fassel who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:

    Personal life

    Fassel and his wife Kitty divorced in 2006 after years of counseling,[13] but later reconciled and have remarried.[14] They are the parents of John Fassel, currently the special teams coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. They had four other children. One was placed for adoption before they were married; they were reunited with him in 2003.[15]

    Fassel is good friends with fellow coach Mike Holmgren, dating to their days as USC quarterbacks.[16]

    See also


    1. Simers, T.J. (October 25, 2010). "Odds are Jim Fassel is never coaching in the NFL again". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    2. "1974 WFL Team Pages: The Hawaiians". Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    3. "WFL Players: Jim Fassel". Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    4. "Jim Fassel named offensive coordinator for New Orleans Breakers". July 10, 1984. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    5. Garber, Greg (March 5, 2003). "The cradle of NFL coaching?". Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    6. Harvey, Tom (November 30, 1984). "Jim Fassel named University of Utah's head football coach". Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    7. Litsky, Frank (February 21, 1991). "Parcells Promotes 3 Aides and Hires 2 Others". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    8. "Giants Promote Jim Fassel to Offensive Coordinator". Deseret News. January 16, 1992. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    9. Anderson, Dave (March 2, 2001). "Sports of The Times: Fassel's Finished Basement". The New York Times. Retrieved 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."
    10. "Ravens fire offensive coordinator Jim Fassel". USA Today. Associated Press. October 17, 2006. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    12. White, Paul (October 22, 2011). "Destroyers capture UFL title as hometown star Rouse shines after cousin's slaying". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    13. Borden, Sam (December 15, 2011). "Years Later, Still Waiting for a Second Chance". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    15. Pennington, Bill (May 16, 2003). "PRO FOOTBALL: 34 Years Later, One Coach's Sweetest Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
    16. Pennington, Bill (December 22, 2001). "PRO FOOTBALL – GIANTS NOTEBOOK: Fassel and Holmgren Remember the Good Ol' Days". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2019.