Longtime NFL assistant coach Greg Knapp died Thursday from injuries he sustained after a car struck him while he was riding his bicycle in Northern California earlier this month. He was 58.
Knapp, who joined the New York Jets in January as the team’s passing game specialist, spent 26 years as an NFL assistant for several teams. He spent the last 22 years either as a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator, according to the Jets’ website.
Knapp sustained serious brain trauma and other injuries when he was struck while riding his bicycle near his Danville home on Saturday, the Times reported. His death at 11:32 a.m. PDT was confirmed by a hospital spokesperson, the newspaper reported.
“We are heartbroken over the loss of Greg Knapp,” Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor said in a statement. “Greg was not only a great former Hornet player and coach, but one of the kindest and most generous people that I’ve ever known. His success and humility have been an inspiration to all of us here at Sacramento State. We will continue to carry on his legacy within our football program and wish his family and friends peace and comfort through this difficult loss.”
Knapp began his career as an NFL assistant in 1995 with the San Francisco 49ers and coached there until 2003. He also coached for the Atlanta Falcons from 2004 to 2006, and the Oakland Raiders in 2007-08 and 2012. Knapp spent four seasons in Denver, first as the Broncos quarterbacks coach in 2013 and then the team’s passing game coordinator (2014-16). Knapp helped Denver to two Super Bowls, including a victory in Super Bowl 50.
Knapp also was the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks in 2009 and the quarterbacks coach for the Houston Texans (2010-11).
When Knapp was out of the NFL in 2017, he coached the San Ramon Valley High junior varsity softball team that included his stepdaughter, the Times reported.
“My career’s gone fast. I’ve been very fortunate,” Knapp told the Sacramento Bee in February 2016. “I’ve survived the ups and downs of this profession, and in each move, I’ve gained more. … Heck of a ride.”
Knapp is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and three daughters, Jordan, Natalie and Camille, according to the Times.
“Greg’s infectious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him,” the Knapp family said in a statement that was tweeted by the Jets. “The phrase ‘He never met a stranger’ encapsulates Knapper’s zest for life. He had a unique gift to make everyone feel special, and to Knapper, they all were.
“While his family, friends, and players still had so much to learn from him and desperately wished they had more time with him, God called an audible and wanted to go over the game plan directly with him,” the family said. “It will certainly be a masterpiece, just like Greg!”
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