Longtime NFL coach Greg Knapp has passed away from injuries sustained in Saturday’s bike crash, when a car struck him near his Danville home. He was 58.
Knapp, according to sources, sustained serious brain trauma as well as other injuries. He’d been in Walnut Creek’s John Muir Health Medical Center since the incident, and his death at 11:32 a.m. was confirmed by a hospital spokesman.
A Seal Beach native and former Sacramento State quarterback, Knapp served as a NFL assistant for over 25 years, starting with the 49ers in 1995. He was hired this year as the New York Jets’ passing game specialist under new coach Robert Saleh and spent this offseason tutoring rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.
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 coached with the 49ers (1995-2003) and the Raiders (2007-08, 2012) as part of a 26-year career in which he specialized in quarterbacks. He was Peyton Manning’s quarterback coach when the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium to cap the 2015 season.
He also coached with the Atlanta Falcons (2004-06, 2018-20), the Seattle Seahawks (2009), the Houston Texans (2010-11), the Broncos (2013-16) and the Jets (2021). From 2001-09, he served as an offensive coordinator with the 49ers, Falcons, Raiders, and Seahawks, and he returned in that capacity on the 2012 Raiders.
Sperbeck on Knapp:
“where he will be reunited with his Dad.
“On Sat. July 17th Greg was struck by a car while riding his bicycle, and was rendered unconscious immediately. Greg never regained consciousness. He was surrounded by his mom, wife, 3 daughters and brother. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 22, 2021
When Knapp was out of the NFL in 2017, he continued to coach, doing so on the San Ramon Valley High junior varsity softball team that included his step-daughter Natalie.
He began his coaching career at Sacrament State from 1986-94, after playing there as a record-setting quarterback. He’d initially gone from Huntington Beach High to UC Santa Barbara before transferring and sparking the Hornets’ program.
Devastated to hear of the tragic passing of former Hornet quarterback and coach Greg Knapp. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. https://t.co/lBPxqsVa4q pic.twitter.com/e4AquKVk5j
— Sac State Football (@SacHornetsFB) July 22, 2021
“My career’s gone fast. I’ve been very fortunate,” Knapp told the Sacramento Bee in February 2016. “I’ve survived the ups and downs of this profession, and in each move, I’ve gained more. … Heck of a ride.”
During his time as a Sacramento State assistant, he made it to several NFL training camps as a player or coaching intern, including stops with Kansas City (1986), the L.A. Raiders (1987-90) and the 49ers (1992-94),
Knapp is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and three daughters, Jordan, Natalie and Camille.
According to a statement from San Ramon police Lt. Tami Williams, officers responded to the area of Dougherty and North Monarch roads around 2:50 p.m. Saturday. The unidentified driver swerved into the bike lane when Knapp was struck, the coach’s agent, Jeff Sperbeck, told NBCNews.com.
Former colleagues throughout the NFL mourned Knapp’s death, while many tried to fondly recall his bellowing laugh, insightful instruction and obvious love for family and friends.
He not only coached players on his NFL teams, he mentored coaches, and he was a fixture running quarterback drills at the annual NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
As the Jets noted on his bio, Knapp coached a handful of Pro Bowl quarterbacks: Manning (2013-14), Steve Young (1998), Jeff Garcia (2000-02) and Michael Vick (2004-05).
The NFL Alumni – Northern California Chapter was saddened to learn that Greg Knapp former 49ers & Raiders Assistant Coach has passed away today, we offer our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.#nflalumninorcal #Raiders #49ers pic.twitter.com/79CHn7QDGy
— NFL Alumni Nor Cal (@NFLAlumniNoCa) July 22, 2021
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