Jim Hanifan, an NFL coach in parts of four decades and most notably had a six-season run as head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1980-1985, died on Wednesday. He was 87.
A cause of death is currently unknown. Hanifan's daughter Kathy Hinder told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday night that doctors were still trying to determine a cause, but it was not related to COVID-19.
Hanifan is viewed as one of the greatest offensive line coaches of all-time.
A native of California who went on to be an All-American at UC Berkeley, Hanifan would coach with several NFL franchises, but he was a favorite and mainstay in St. Louis with the Cardinals and Rams franchises.
Hanifan's days in the NFL began as an offensive line coach for St. Louis in 1973.
After a one-season move to the San Diego Chargers as an assistant head coach/offensive line coach in 1979, he headed back to St. Louis.
In 1980 he returned to the Cardinals as their head coach and would go on to produce a 39-49-1 record, highlighted by a playoff berth in the strike-shortened 1982 campaign.
Hanifan also had a four-game interim head coaching stint with the Atlanta Falcons in 1989 and carried on his NFL coaching career through a seven-season run back in St. Louis with the Rams as an offensive line coach. In his time with the Rams, Hanifan aided mightily as a historic offense carried the franchise to two Super Bowl appearances and one victory.
He also coached in Washington from 1990-96.
After his coaching career concluded with the Rams, Hanifan became a radio broadcaster for the franchise. He also penned an autobiography, Beyond X's and O's: My Thirty Years in Football.