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Former NFL linebackers coach Bill McGovern dies at 60 following cancer battle

Jacksonville Jaguars v Philadelphia Eagles

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 24: Coach Bill McGovern of the Philadelphia Eagles catches before the game Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 24, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Eagles won 31-24. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images)

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Former NFL assistant coach Bill McGovern died Tuesday after a cancer battle, UCLA announced. He was 60.

McGovern served as the Bruins defensive coordinator in 2022 but missed the second half of the season with his health issues. He transitioned into an administrative role with the program earlier this year.

“Early [Tuesday] morning we said goodbye to our beloved father and husband Bill after his long and difficult battle with cancer came to an end and today,” the McGovern family said in a statement issued through UCLA’s athletics department. “We would like to thank the entire UCLA community for all of the love and support you gave to Bill and our entire family during this very difficult struggle. In particular, the McGovern family would like to thank UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly and his wife Jill, as well as all of the players, coaches, trainers, and support staff of the UCLA football program and their families. It was the honor of Bill’s coaching career to be the defensive coordinator for the UCLA Bruins and this past season was one of the highlights of Bill’s coaching career.”

McGovern served as linebackers coach for Kelly with the Eagles in 2013. He remained in that role through the 2015 season before moving to the Giants, where he was linebackers coach from 2016-19.

After a season at Nebraska, McGovern returned to the NFL in 2021 as inside linebackers coach of the Bears. He reunited with Kelly in 2022.

McGovern was an All-American defensive back at Holy Cross in the early 1980s, and he is on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

His college coaching career began as an assistant at Pennsylvania in 1985 and spanned more than three decades with stops at Holy Cross, UMass, Boston College and Pittsburgh as well as Nebraska.