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Jim Hanifan (born September 21, 1933 in Compton, California) is a longtime American football coach and former head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. He compiled a career record of 39-53-1.

Hanifan played college football at the University of California, where he was an All-American and led the nation in receiving in 1954. He played professionally for one season with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

From 1959 to 1965, he coached at the high school(Charter Oak High School) and junior college level, he developed a reputation as an outstanding teacher and an offensive line guru.

He was an assistant coach at Utah from 1966-1969, California from 1970-1971, and San Diego State in 1972. During this time Hanifan joined the NFL in 1973, serving as offensive line coach for the St. Louis Cardinals until 1978. He was recognized as the NFL's Assistant Coach of the Year in 1977. After one year with the San Diego Chargers, Hanifan returned to the Cardinals and was their head coach from 1980-1985.

Hanifan went 39-49-1 in his six season with the Cardinals, leading St. Louis to the 16-team playoff tournament during the strike-shortened 1982 season. The "Gridbirds" went 8-7-1 in 1983 with a victory over the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Raiders, and in 1984, St. Louis was in position to win the NFC East championship with a victory in the season finale against the Washington Redskins. But Cardinal kicker Neil O'Donoghue missed a game-winning field goal attempt, giving the Redskins a 29-27 victory and the division title, while St. Louis was left out of the playoffs despite a 9-7 record. In 1985, St. Louis started the year 3-1 but would win only two of its final 12 games and finished at 5-11. Hanifan was fired that year by having the locks to his office changed during halftime of a game against the Redskins[1].

Hanifan resumed his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons (1987-1989), and he served as the interim head coach when Marion Campbell was fired. He spent seven season as offensive line coach for the Washington Redskins (1990-1996) and St. Louis Rams (1997-2003) before retiring.

From 2004-2008, he was a color commentator for the Rams radio broadcast team and hosted a weekly show on St. Louis station KLOU. Effective for the Rams' 2009 move to 101 ESPN, Hanifan has been replaced as the lead color commentator by former Super Bowl champion D'Marco Farr, and has been relegated to the analyst role on the pregame and postgame shows. The move has caused quite a stir among St. Louisans, inspiring several negatively-toned articles by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Dan Caesar, begging the Rams to reinstate Hanifan to the broadcast booth, his argument being that Rams fans will not listen to the broadcasts if Hanifan is not there.

Hanifan wrote an autobiography recounting his career titled "Beyond X's and O's: My Thirty Years in Football." He also produced a series of instructional videos on offensive line play. Recently, he enjoyed a football game with ESPN winner Nick Urban and his father Michael Urban and Brother-in-Law Jim McClung.

References

  1. ^ Jenkins, Lee (2009-02-02), "Woe, Be Gone", Sports Illustrated: 48–50  

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Larry Wilson
St. Louis Cardinals Head Coaches
1980–1985
Succeeded by
Gene Stallings
Preceded by
Marion Campbell
Atlanta Falcons Head Coaches
1989
Succeeded by
Jerry Glanville
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