Faulkner, longtime NFL coach and executive, passes away at 82

Longtime pro football executive Jack Faulkner died Sunday night in Newport Beach, Calif., the St. Louis Rams announced on Monday.

"This is a sad day because we lost Jack Faulkner last night, who I have known since I was 8 years old," Rams owner and chairman Chip Rosenbloom said. "I feel he is a part of the Rams family, our family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I can't overstate the significance that he has played in the history of the Rams. We lost one of the great connections to our past."

Few in pro football have experienced the success and the longevity of Faulkner, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, who joined the Rams in 1955 as a member of first-year coach Sid Gillman's staff and spent the next 53 years in pro football. Forty-three of those were with the Rams.

Faulkner coached many positions and held many coaching and executive roles and was one of the few still living who had coached in the NFL and American Football League.

Faulkner was the defensive backfield coach of the 1961 AFL San Diego Chargers, when the defense intercepted 49 passes, still a pro football record.

Faulkner was head coach and general manager of the 1962 Denver Broncos and was named AFL coach of the year after leading the financially strapped and competitively weak franchise to a 7-7 record.

Faulkner made his first return to the Rams when he scouted for them in 1966 after a season on the Minnesota Vikings' coaching staff. Faulkner then joined the first-year New Orleans staff in 1967.

In 1968, Faulkner was named the Saints' defensive coordinator, a position he held until becoming the Saints' director of player personnel in 1970. He returned to the Rams again in 1971 as a pro and college scout.

Faulkner stayed with the Rams for the next 37 years. He most recently had been the Rams' Administrator for Pro Personnel, working out of his office in Orange County, Calif.

Faulkner retired from coaching after serving as the Rams' offensive backfield coach during the 1979 run to the NFC Championship and berth in Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1980, Jack was named the Rams' assistant general manager. He was one of the few Rams employees who remained in California when the team relocated to St. Louis in 1995.

Faulkner was in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and got into coaching in 1949 after playing linebacker at Miami of Ohio. He served under Sid Gillman at Cincinnati from 1949-54 and with the Rams from 1955-59.

Faulkner is survived by his wife, Debbie, and sons Jon, Brandon and Ryan, and daughter Cathy.

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