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Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill remembers former coach Jim Hanifan

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 1983, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals coach Jim Hanifan, left, and Green Bay Packers coach Bart Starr meet after the Packers' 41-16 victory in an NFL football playoff game in Green Bay, Wis. Hanifan, the former Cardinals coach who returned to the city as offensive line coach to help the Rams win the Super Bowl, has died. He was 87. Hanifan's daughter, Kathy Hinder, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he died Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2020. She said the cause of death hasn't been determined, but said it wasn't related to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn, File)

Tributes poured in this week across the NFL for former Cardinals head coach Jim Hanifan, who passed away at the age of 87 on Tuesday.

Hanifan served as the head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1980-85 and previously served as the team’s offensive line coach from 1973-78.

His six-year tenure with the franchise is tied with Ken Whisenhunt and Jimmy Conzelman for the longest in Cardinals’ history, with Hanifan going 39-49-1 during his tenure running the team.

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill recognized Hanifan as a great football coach and a better human being in a statement on Thursday.

“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’s statement said. “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.”

Former St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants running back Otis “OJ” Anderson was one of many to remember Hanifan on Twitter on Wednesday night.

Fellow NFL coaches, like Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, shared memories of their time spent with Hanifan, remembering the former Cardinals and Falcons head coach as a legend in the sport.

Hanifan was an All-American at the University of California-Berkeley, later getting inducted into the school’s hall of fame.

The Compton, Calif. native closed out his coaching career in his adopted home city of St. Louis, where he worked as an offensive line coach with the Rams between 1997-02.

He was on the staff of the Rams’ Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the Tennessee Titans in 2000, serving under then-head coach Dick Vermeil.

Hanifan later served as a color commentator for Rams games on the radio from 2004-08 before moving into an analyst role from 2009-11.


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