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Frank Gansz
Born (1938-11-22)November 22, 1938
Died April 27, 2009(2009-04-27) (aged 70)

Frank Gansz (November 22, 1938 – April 27, 2009) was an American football coach whose career spanned nearly 40 years. At the college level, Gansz served as an assistant at Colgate, Oklahoma State, SMU, Army, UCLA, Air Force and Navy, his alma mater (1960). In January 1986, Gansz was named assistant head coach and special teams coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. He took over as head coach of the Chiefs in January 1987 after John Mackovic was fired. In his first year, a strike-shortened season, he finished 4-11. The following year, he went 4-11-1. In January 1989, Gansz was fired and replaced by Marty Schottenheimer.

Once called "the best special teams coach ever" by former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil, Gansz twice earned special teams coach of the year honors, including 1999 when helped the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory. A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Gansz retired as an NFL coach in 2001 after coaching in the league for 24 seasons, including stops in San Francisco, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and Jacksonville. After retirement, he lived in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Barbara, though he continued to speak at colleges and clinics around the country.

On February 20, 2008, Gansz came out of retirement to join SMU as its special teams coach under head coach June Jones, with whom he had worked in Atlanta and Detroit.

Gansz, a native of Altoona, Pa., was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was an assistant coach at Navy from 1969 to 1972. In 2009 the Naval Academy and Southern Methodist University jointly created the Gansz Trophy which is to be awarded to the winner of any football game between the two institutions. Navy won the first three trophies, defeating SMU in 2009, 2010, and 2011, with the teams to plyay each other next in 2015.[1]

He died in Dallas on April 27, 2009, from complications following knee replacement surgery.

NFL career timeline[edit | edit source]

  • ST - San Francisco 49ers (1978)
  • TE and ST - Cincinnati Bengals (1979–1980)
  • TE and ST - Kansas City Chiefs (1981–1982)
  • TE and ST - Philadelphia Eagles (1983–1985)
  • ST - Kansas City Chiefs (1986)
  • Head Coach - Kansas City Chiefs (1987–1988)
  • ST - Detroit Lions (1989–1993)
  • OC - Atlanta Falcons (1994–1996)
  • ST - St. Louis Rams (1997–1999)
  • ST - Jacksonville Jaguars (2000–2001)

Family[edit | edit source]

His son, Frank Gansz, Jr. is a special teams coach with the SMU Mustangs

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Don Lawrence
Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coach
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Jim Vechiarella
Preceded by
Jim Vechiarella
Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coach
1986
Succeeded by
Ed Beckman
Preceded by
John Mackovic
Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach
1987–1988
Succeeded by
Marty Schottenheimer

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