April 06, 2012

Longtime Cowboys Assistant Coach Joe Avezzano Dies: Joe Avezzano, the special teams coach of the Dallas Cowboys during their three Super Bowl wins of the '90s, died in Italy Thursday of a heart attack. He was 68. Avezzano, a popular presence in Dallas known affectionately as "Coach Joe" even after leaving the Cowboys in 2002, had gone to Italy two months ago to lead a team in the Italian Football League. The job gave him a chance to visit Avezzano, Italy. "I am the long lost heir to the throne," Avezzano joked before his departure. "They've been looking for me in Italy for years. Now they've found me and I'm going back and I will return to Avezzano." Cowboys special teamer Bill Bates once was shocked to see blood trickling from Coach Joe's forehead on the sidelines, an injury he refused to explain until after the game so it wouldn't become a distraction. "Don't worry about it, but you head-butted me," he told Bates in the locker room.

posted by rcade to football at 10:17 AM - 3 comments


I loved seeing him during broadcasts of Cowboys games, always looking possessed, like an escaped prisoner with the hound dogs right behind him.

Dallas has had a long standing tradition of composed and rather bland luminaries through the years, from Landry to Staubach to Garrett, and Avezzano provided a welcome contrast to all that with his urgent, wild eyed sideline prowling.

Some people think Rob Ryan is the rightful heir to the Avezzano mantle, but there is no way. Ryan isn't even in the same area code.

posted by beaverboard at 10:59 AM on April 06, 2012

I ran into him once leaving a restaurant on Dallas' West End. It's a shame he didn't get to coach in Italy.

posted by rcade at 11:22 AM on April 06, 2012


RIP Coach Joe

posted by BornIcon at 03:56 PM on April 06, 2012

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