HomeSportsNFL: Jim Hanifan, Former Coaching Great, Dead at 87

NFL: Jim Hanifan, Former Coaching Great, Dead at 87

by Charles Craighill
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Former NFL coaching legend, Jim Hanifan, died on Tuesday at 87 years old. According to his daughter, Kathy Hinder, he died in Missouri Baptist Hospital. The hospital has not released the cause of death to this point.

Jim Hanifan became the head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals) in 1980. In his six seasons with the team, he led the team to 39-49 record. He had his best season with the Cardinals in 1982, leading the team to a 5-4 record. Despite earning a playoff birth, the Cardinals lost to the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the playoffs that year.

After his six-year stint with the Cardinals, Jim Hanifan took the job as an offensive line coach with the Atlanta Falcons. He also played the role of assistant head coach. In his three years with the Falcons, he gained a reputation as one of the best Offensive line coaches in the league. He also became the interim head coach when the organization fired Marion Campbell in 1989.

In 1990, Hanifan left the Falcons to join the Washington Redskins (now Washington Football Team) coaching staff. While in Washington, he grew his legacy as the top offensive line strategist. He helped the team win the Superbowl in the 1991 season against the Buffalo Bills. Hanifan stayed with the Washington Redskins for 7 seasons before returning to St. Louis to join the Rams. He once again took on the role of offensive line coach. He stayed with the St. Louis Rams (now the Los Angeles Rams) for six more seasons, helping lead the team to the Superbowl in the 1999 season.

Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill on Jim Hanifan

“Jim Hanifan was a great football coach, but an even better man and mentor to many men and women around the game of football,” Bidwill said in a statement. “On the field, he was known as one of the greatest teachers of offensive line play the game has ever seen. He’ll also be remembered as one of its all-time best storytellers.”

[H/T PopCulture]