Michael Strahan reacted to news of Jim Fassel’s death live on Good Morning America.
Jim Fassel, the former New York Giants head coach, unexpectedly died on Monday at the age of 71.
Fassel famously led the Giants to the Super Bowl in the 2000 season after proclaiming during a two-game losing streak in November that the team would make the playoffs.
Michael Strahan was on that team, which was one of the seven seasons he spent with Fassel as his coach. During his time with Fassel, Strahan went to six Pro Bowls, one Super Bowl, broke the NFL record for most sacks in a season.
Strahan took some time on the Good Morning America broadcast to remember his former coach and reflect on how much he meant to him.
“Big part of my life. Just a great man, great coach, and he will be missed,” Strahan said on Good Morning America. “But I was definitely shocked this morning to find out this news, and I just want to send my love and condolences to his family. A great man. I enjoyed every minute with him as my coach and after my career when we used to continue to stay in touch and talk.”
The Giants released a statement of condolence on Tuesday remembering Fassel:
“On behalf of the Mara and Tisch families and our entire organization, I would like to express our condolences to the Fassel family and Jim’s friends. We were all saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. Jim was a good man and his record as our coach speaks for itself,” Giants co-owner John Mara said in a statement. “Jim distinguished himself by the way he managed our team and devoted his efforts to the fire fighters and other families following the tragedy of 9-11. The players respected Jim and enjoyed playing for him and his coaching staff. And we appreciated his seven years of leading our team.”
The legacy of Fassel lives on in the current era of the NFL. His coaching tree has produced three Super Bowl berths and one Super Bowl win — John Fox took two different teams to Super Bowls and Sean Payton won Super Bowl XLIV with the New Orleans Saints.
Fassel’s son John is following in his father’s steps and is a coach on the Dallas Cowboys staff as Special Teams Coordinator.