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Former 49ers assistant, longtime NFL coach Knapp dies at 58

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Longtime NFL coach Greg Knapp died Thursday from injuries sustained when a motorist stuck him while he was riding his bicycle. Knapp was 58.

The driver was not named. He was identified as a 22-year-old male resident of Danville. He remained on the scene and cooperated with authorities, said Lt. Tami Williams of the San Ramon Police Department.

"At this point in the investigation, drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a contributing factor to the collision," Williams stated in a release.

"The San Ramon Police Department's Traffic Unit is conducting a thorough investigation of this incident. Once our investigation is completed, the case will be reviewed by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office."

Knapp was struck Saturday on Dougherty Road, approximately a quarter-mile north of Monarch Road in San Ramon. He was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

Knapp was “rendered unconscious immediately,” the Knapp family wrote in a statement.

“Greg never regained consciousness,” his family said. "He was surrounded by his mom, wife, three daughters and brother.”

He was pronounced dead Thursday at 11:32 a.m.

Knapp and his wife, Charlotte, have three daughters, Jordan, Natalie, and Camille, according to his biography on the New York Jets' website.

Knapp joined the New York Jets this offseason as one of the key members of head coach Robert Saleh’s staff. Saleh in his first season after working the past four years as 49ers defensive coordinator.


Saleh released the following statement Thursday.

He had already made a big impact with the organization as passing game specialist, where he was assisting first-year offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur in grooming quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

Knapp established a reputation during his career as one of the top quarterbacks coaches in the league, as well as being a first-rate individual with a warm, gracious and positive personality.

"Those of us who were so blessed to have known him, know that he would have wanted even this moment to be a teachable one," his family wrote in the statement. "So this is it: 'Live every day as if it's your last, and love those around you like it won't last!'

“Greg's infectious personality is most people's first and lasting memory of him. The phrase, ‘He never met a stranger’ encapsulates Knapper's zest for life.”

Knapp entered the coaching ranks at Sacramento State, where he played quarterback from 1982 to ’85. He coached nine seasons at his alma mater. He served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator from 1991 to '94.

Knapp made the move to the NFL when then-49ers coach George Seifert hired him to an entry level position in 1995. He remained with the 49ers for nine seasons.

Knapp served in the role of quarterbacks coach, and later became offensive coordinator from 2001 to ’03 under head coaches Steve Mariucci and Dennis Erickson.

He was offensive coordinator of the Raiders in 2007, 2008 and 2012. He also worked as an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.

During his career, Knapp worked directly with Hall of Famers Steve Young and Peyton Manning, as well as Pro Bowl quarterbacks Matt Ryan, Jeff Garcia, Michael Vick and Matt Schaub.