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August 31, 1949|
|High school:||Anaheim (CA)|
Long Beach State
|NFL Draft:||1972 / Round: 7 / Pick: 167|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
James Edward 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 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.
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. 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, he was named head coach at Utah on November 30, 1984.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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
|Utah Utes (Western Athletic Conference) (1985–1989)|
|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||–||–||–||–|
|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|
Assistants under Jim Fassel who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:
- John Fox: Carolina Panthers (2002–2010), Denver Broncos (2011–2014), Chicago Bears (2015–2017)
- Sean Payton: New Orleans Saints (2006–present)
Jim and Kitty divorced in 2006 after years of counseling, but later reconciled and have remarried. Jim is the father 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.
- 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."
- John and Kitty find son put up for adoption