Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp, 58, dead following tragic bicycling accident

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Fox News 22 July, 2021 - 05:49pm 19 views

Jets assistant Greg Knapp dies after bike accident

Yardbarker 22 July, 2021 - 06:45pm

New York Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp was involved in a serious bicycle accident over the weekend, and reports indicate he has died.

Knapp’s family confirmed on Tuesday that the 58-year-old was fighting for his life after being struck by a car while riding his bike. Chicago Bears tight ends coach Clancy Barone, who was college teammates with Knapp and coached with him in Atlanta and Denver, shared the unfortunate news on Thursday that Knapp has died.

Bears TE coach and best friend of Greg Knapp confirms the news we didn’t want to hear. pic.twitter.com/gPFPFRRRvz

— FOX 5 Sports (@FOX5Sports) July 22, 2021

Knapp had been a coach in the NFL since he started out with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s. He was hired by the Jets this year as their quarterbacks coach and passing game specialist under new head coach Robert Saleh.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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Jets assistant Knapp dies of injuries from bicycle accident

Associated Press 22 July, 2021 - 06:27pm

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp died Thursday of injuries suffered in a bicycle accident near his home in California last Saturday. He was 58.

Knapp’s family released a statement through the team that the longtime NFL assistant coach died at 2:32 p.m. EDT.

“Greg Knapp (aka Knapper) was called back home to Heaven, where he will be reunited with his Dad,” the statement said.

The family said in the statement that Knapp was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in the city of San Ramon in the San Francisco Bay Area and never regained consciousness.

He was surrounded by his mother, wife, three daughters and his brother when he died.

“Greg’s infectious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him,” the family said. “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. It will certainly be a masterpiece, just like Greg!”

Knapp, who lived in Danville, California, was hired by the Jets in January as part of new coach Robert Saleh’s staff, serving as the passing game specialist. Among Knapp’s primary roles was to help develop quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall draft pick.

“The loss of a loved one is always a challenge but is harder when it is completely unexpected,” Saleh said in a statement issued by the team. “Charlotte, Jordan, Natalie, and Camille please accept our most sincere condolences. Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards. He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way. In his short time here, I believe the people in this organization had a chance to experience that connection. Greg, thank you for all that you have shared with us, you will be missed, brother.”

Knapp was well-liked and respected in NFL circles and he had established himself as one of the league’s top offensive-minded coaches. After a nine-year stint as an assistant at Sacramento State, where he also played quarterback, Knapp got his first NFL job with San Francisco in 1997 as an offensive quality control coach under Steve Mariucci. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach two years later and became the 49ers’ offensive coordinator in 2001.

Knapp joined Jim Mora’s staff in Atlanta as the offensive coordinator in 2004, and served in the same capacity for Oakland (2007-08 and 2012) and Seattle (2009). He also had stints as the quarterbacks coach for Houston (2010-11), Denver (2013-16) — where he helped Peyton Manning set single-season passing records in 2013 — and most recently the Falcons (2018-20).

“His legacy is not only working with some of the brightest quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but the countless others across this world he has had an indelibly positive influence on,” Jets chairman Woody Johnson said in a statement.

Knapp had been expected to have a key role in helping offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese teach and develop Wilson as the 21-year-old QB adjusts to NFL life as the likely starter for the Jets this season.

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Jets assistant Knapp dies following bike accident

ESPN 22 July, 2021 - 05:58pm

The affable Knapp, known for his expertise with quarterbacks, was only days away from flying to New Jersey to begin his first season as the Jets' passing-game specialist under new coach Robert Saleh. The Jets' rookies reported Tuesday to training camp.

"Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards," Saleh said in a statement posted to Twitter. "He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way.

"In his short time here, I believe the people in this organization had a chance to experience that connection. Greg, thank you for all that you have shared with us, you will be missed brother."

An avid bicyclist, Knapp was hit by a single motorist at about 2:49 p.m., not far from his home in Danville, San Ramon police said. The driver of the vehicle, whose name is being withheld, wasn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, according to police.

"Those of us who were so blessed to have known him, know that he would have wanted even this moment to be a teachable one," the family said in a statement. "So this is it...'Live every day as if it's your last, and love those around you like it won't last!'

The family said in the statement that Knapp died at 2:32 p.m. EDT, five days after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle in the San Francisco Bay Area and never regaining consciousness.

He was surrounded by his mother, wife, three daughters and his brother when he died.

"Greg's infectious personality is most people's first and lasting memory of him," the family said. "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. It will certainly be a masterpiece, just like Greg!''

Knapp began his NFL coaching career in 1997 as a low-level offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers. He forged a tight bond with Young, and the two remained close. Knapp also coached for the Atlanta Falcons (two stints), Oakland Raiders (two stints), Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos, either as the quarterbacks coach or the offensive coordinator.

"He was a tremendous football coach who achieved at the highest levels of our game, but more importantly he was a wonderful person who had the love, admiration and respect of those who were blessed to work with him," Falcons owner Arthur Blank wrote in a statement on Twitter. "Rest In Peace, Greg Knapp."

Jets chairman Robert Wood Johnson also issued a statement on Knapp's death.

"In his short time with us, Greg had an immediate influence on those who had the pleasure of spending the smallest amount of time with him," the statement reads. "His legacy is not only working with some of the brightest quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but the countless others across this world he has had an indelibly positive influence on."

In addition to Manning and Young, Knapp helped tutor quarterbacks Michael Vick, Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan. His career highlight was the 2015 season, when he was a member of the Super Bowl-winning staff with the Broncos in Manning's final season.

The Jets hired Knapp to preside over their three young quarterbacks. His job, he explained last month at minicamp, was to be "the voice in the quarterback room," which includes highly touted rookie Zach Wilson.

Knapp called it an exciting challenge to coach three inexperienced quarterbacks, noting his passion for teaching. He said he got that from his parents, both of whom are teachers.

"It's invigorating for me," Knapp said.

Knapp was well-respected across the league. Young, an unofficial adviser to Wilson and his family during the pre-draft process, told ESPN in a recent interview that Knapp's presence on the Jets' staff was a "huge plus" for Wilson.

"I told his dad, Mike Wilson: If I had a son and I needed him to be coached and taken care of in a way that helps him play better football, I'd want Greg to be part of it," Young said.

Knapp, born in Long Beach, California, played college ball at Sacramento State. He never appeared in an NFL game, but he spent time on the Raiders, 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs' rosters.

Ex-Texans assistant Greg Knapp dies after being struck by car while riding bike

Houston Chronicle 22 July, 2021 - 05:32pm

Greg Knapp, a longtime NFL assistant coach who had a stint with the Texans, died Thursday. He was 58.

Knapp had been injured Saturday when the bike he was riding in northern California was struck by a car. Knapp, an offseason resident of Danville, was riding in the neighboring town of San Ramon when a motorist swerved into the bike lane and hit him. He was immediately rushed to a hospital in San Ramon before being transferred to another facility in Walnut Creek.

Knapp's agent Jeff Sperbeck confirmed his client's death to Mike Klis of Denver TV station 9News, saying Knapp died at 11:32 a.m. Pacific time Thursday. Sperbeck said Knapp did not regain consciousness after he was struck by the car. He died surrounded by his mother, wife, three daughters and brother.

Knapp had been hired this offseason as the pass game specialist for the Jets, who hired fellow former Texans assistant Robert Saleh as head coach.

Knapp coached quarterbacks for the Texans from 2010-11. He was later reunited with his former Texans boss Gary Kubiak in Denver from 2015-16, with the Broncos winning the Super Bowl in 2015.

Knapp, who played at Sacramento State, had also been an assistant with the Falcons (2004-06, 2018-20), Raiders (2007-08, 2012), Seahawks (2009) and 49ers (1995-2003). 

He is survived by wife Charlotte and daughters Jordan, Natalie and Camille.

He is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University and Bowie High School in Austin.

Greg Knapp, Former Falcons Coach, Passes Away After Accident

Sports Illustrated 22 July, 2021 - 05:26pm

The Knapp Family released a statement.

The Knapp family previously released a statement via the New York Jets - a statement asking for prayers.

Knapp returned to Atlanta as the Falcons quarterback coach in 2018 and coached QB Matt Ryan for three seasons. His lengthy career in the coaching profession had taken him to New York, where he was to help guide their rookie QB 

"Greg is such an amazing individual it is hard to imagine the challenge facing him and his family," Jets coach Robert Saleh said in a statement released by the Jets Tuesday. "Greg’s fun nature, kind disposition, and wealth of knowledge has allowed him to make genuine connections with all of our coaches, players and staff since he has been here. I ask that you keep him in your prayers as we all pull for him to recover from this horrific accident."

Former Broncos assistant Greg Knapp dies from injuries sustained in bicycle accident

The Denver Post 22 July, 2021 - 05:12pm

Former Broncos quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp died Thursday morning, five days after a bicycle accident in California when he was hit by a car.

Knapp, who was 58 and is survived by his wife and three daughters, was in his first year as the New York Jets’ passing game specialist. He was a Broncos assistant from 2013-16, serving under coaches John Fox and Gary Kubiak.

In a statement, the Broncos said Knapp “was an outstanding coach and an even better person. In his four years as our quarterbacks coach, Greg was an instrumental part of two Super Bowl appearances and our championship run in 2015. The job he did coaching our quarterbacks during our Super Bowl 50 season was masterful. … Greg was a trusted confidant and the very definition of a ‘quarterback whisperer.’”

According to the Jets, Knapp never regained consciousness after Saturday’s accident.

After coaching at Sacramento State from 1986-1996, Knapp entered the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers as a quality control coach. He rose to quarterbacks coach (1998-2000) and offensive coordinator (2001-03).

Knapp coordinated offenses in Atlanta (2004-06), Oakland (2007-08 and ’12) and Seattle (2009) and served as a quarterbacks coach for Houston (2010-11), the Broncos and Atlanta (2018-20).

“He was a tremendous football coach who achieved at the highest levels of our game,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. “But more importantly, he was a wonderful person who had the love, admiration and respect of those who were blessed to work with him.”

Among the quarterbacks coached by Knapp were Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan.

Clancy Barone, a Broncos assistant from 2009-16, said in an Instagram post that Knapp “was a great friend for 40 years. College teammate. Best friend in the coaching profession. We always made sure our lockers were next to each other during our coaching journey. … One of a kind in more ways than we can count.”

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