Former Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Desperados special teams coach Joe Avezzano passed away earlier today in Milan, Italy after suffering a heart attack.
He was 68.
Avezzano, one of the more outspoken and colorful members of the Cowboys’ coaching staff during the Jimmy Johnson era of the early 1990s had been coaching Italian club team Seamen Milano since September 2011.
Getting his start, and making his impression in coaching while at Oregon State in the early 1980s, Avezzano departed the Dallas Cowboys in 2003 upon the arrival of Bill Parcells, and went on to coach special teams for the Oakland Raiders from 2003-2005. Avezzano also coached the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League for a short period of time from 2002-2003.
A highly-respected and prized motivational speaker, Avezzano dabbled briefly in bar and restaurant ownership in the Dallas suburbs before taking the job with Seamen Milano in 2011.
It’s a sad day for Dallas Cowboys fans in particular, and for the NFL in general. Joe Avezzano was a rare character who had respect from all– and fear from some– during his time in professional football, and away from the field of play.
Avezzano finished his career as the only coach in NFL history to win Special Teams Coach of the Year on three occasions, with units consistently finishing among the league’s best in all four major special teams categories.
Joe Avezzano made a mark on the football field and on the lives of those around him. He will be dearly missed by people across many walks of life.
We wish his family the best in their time of loss.
More reports on Joe Avezzano’s untimely passing:
Former Cowboys Coach Joe Avezzano Dies: http://bit.ly/HgWh5g
Former Dallas Cowboys Special Teams Coach Joe Avezzano Has Died: http://bit.ly/HpigdV
Former Cowboys Special Teams Coach Avezzano Passes Away: http://bit.ly/HpGPGS