Sadly, college football has lost one of its best coaches.
According to multiple outlets, longtime Fresno State coach Jim Sweeney passed away Friday night at the age of 83. His health had been failing in recent months.
Sweeney arrived in Fresno in 1976 after stops at Montana State and Washington State. Following the 1977 season, Sweeney departed Fresno State for a two-year run in the NFL before returning to Bulldogs, where he coached a school-record 144 wins from 1980-1996. He finished his career with 200 wins and was succeeded by another Fresno State great, Pat Hill.
“Most of what our football program has accomplished in recent years was clearly made possible by the path that Coach Sweeney blazed for Fresno State Football throughout his two decades of leadership,” Fresno State’s Athletic director Thomas Boeh said in a statement. “He was a man of vision, toughness and character who led the Bulldogs to new heights and went on to become a national icon. Our deepest condolences go out to June as well as Jim’s entire family. It is our hope that all will find comfort in knowing that Coach Sweeney will be missed by thousands and honored always at Fresno State.”
Certainly, our condolences go to Sweeney’s family during this time.