Former St. Louis Cardinals head coach and longtime NFL offensive line coach Jim Hanifan has died at age 87.
Hanifan passed away Tuesday evening at Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. His daughter, Kathy Hinder, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday night that doctors still were determining the cause of death, but it was not related to COVID-19.
Hanifan coached the Cardinals for six seasons, compiling a 39-49-1 record from 1980-85 that included a playoff appearance during the strike-shortened 1982 season. He also went 0-4 as an interim head coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 1989.
“Jim Hanifan was a great football coach but an even better man and mentor to many men and women around the game of football,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a statement released Thursday. “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 story tellers.
“He was a friend to so many and meant so much to our family. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all of those fortunate enough to cross paths with Jim, a true original who will never be forgotten.”
A native of Compton, Calif., Hanifan was an All-American at Cal and played one season in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts in 1955. He was inducted into Cal’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
After coaching in the college ranks at Utah, Cal and San Diego State from 1966-72, Hanifan became the offensive line coach of the Cardinals from 1973-78. He also coached the offensive lines for the San Diego Chargers (1979), Falcons (1987-89), Washington (1990-96) and St. Louis Rams (1997-2002).
–Field Level Media