New York Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp died Thursday of injuries sustained after being hit by a car while cycling near his home in California. He was 58 years old.
“Greg Knapp (aka Knapper) has been summoned back to heaven where he will be reunited with his father,” his family said in a statement. His family added that Knapp never regained consciousness after being hit by a car in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday. At the time of his death, he was surrounded by his wife Charlotte, daughters Jordan, Natalie and Camille, and his mother and brother.
“Greg’s contagious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him,” the family said. “The phrase ‘never met a stranger’ sums up Knapper’s zest for life. He had a unique ability to make anyone feel special, and for Knapper, they were.
“Even though his family, friends, and players had a lot to learn from him and desperately wanted to spend more time with him, God called out loud and wanted to review the game plan directly with him. It will definitely be a masterpiece, just like Greg!”
Based in Danville, California, Knapp was hired by the Jets in January as part of new coach Robert Saleh’s roster and served as the passing game specialist.
“The loss of a loved one is always a challenge, but harder when it’s completely unexpected,” Saleh said in a statement released by the team. Said. “Charlotte, Jordan, Natalie and Camille, please accept our deepest condolences. There was such peace within Greg that people always seemed to gravitate towards him. He lived his life lovingly which helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way. In his short time here, I believe the people in this organization have had the chance to experience this bond.
“Greg, thank you for everything you shared with us. You will be missed bro.”
Knapp’s primary roles with the Jets included helping develop point guard Zach Wilson, who was picked second in this year’s draft.
“Man this is tough,” Wilson wrote on Instagram. “A huge impact on my life in just a few months. I love you, Coach Knapper.”
Knapp was loved and respected in NFL circles and established himself as a quarterback guru and one of the best offensive coaches in the league. Other quarterbacks he has coached throughout his career include Steve Young, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan.
Several of Knapp’s former teams and players paid their respects and sent their condolences to the coach’s family on social media.
“From all-time greats like Peyton Manning to young players just starting their careers, Greg was a trusted confidant and the very definition of a ‘quarterback whisperer’. More importantly, his connections with players, coaches, staff and their families,” the Denver Broncos said in a statement. and the friendships were real and special.”
Knapp was expected to have a key role in helping offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and quarterback coach Rob Calabrese teach and develop Wilson.
“His legacy is working not only with some of the brightest quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but also with countless other players who have had an indelible positive impact on this worldwide,” Jets president Woody Johnson said in a statement.