Greg Knapp, the Jets assistant coach who was hit by a car while riding his bicycle over the weekend, died Thursday from his injuries. He was 58.
His death was confirmed by his family and the Jets.
“Today at 11:32 am PST, Greg Knapp (aka Knapper) was called back home to Heaven where he will be reunited with his Dad,” the Knapp family shared in a statement.
“On Sat. July 17th Greg was struck by a car while riding his bicycle, and was rendered unconscious immediately. Greg never regained consciousness. He was surrounded by his mom, wife, 3 daughters and brother.
“Greg spent 33 years coaching football, the first 9 at Sacramento State (where he also played QB) and the next 24 years in the NFL as an Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach. He coached hundreds of players, including Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Rick Mirer, Matt Schaub, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, and most recently Zach Wilson.
“Those of us blessed to have known him, know that he would have wanted even this moment to be a teachable one. 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. He had a unique gift to make everyone feel special, and to Knapper, they all were.
“While his family, friends, and players still had so much to learn from him and desperately wished they had more time with him, God called an audible and wanted to go over the game plan directly with him. It will certainly be a masterpiece, just like Greg!”
Knapp was struck on Saturday afternoon near his offseason home in Danville, Calif.
The veteran quarterback guru was hired by new Jets head coach Robert Saleh as a passing game specialist in January with the primary focus being on working with second-overall draft pick Zach Wilson.
“Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards,” Saleh said Thursday. “He lived life in a loving way that 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 had a chance to experience that connection.”
Knapp brought a wealth of experience working with top NFL quarterbacks to his gig with the Jets. He was the QB coach and then passing game coordinator with the Broncos when Manning was shattering records while leading Denver to two Super Bowl appearances, including a victory in Super Bowl 50.
Most recently he was the quarterbacks coach of the Atlanta Falcons (2018-20).
“He was a tremendous football coach who achieved at the highest levels of our game, but more importantly he was a wonderful person who had the love, admiration and respect of those who were blessed to work with him,” Arthur Blank, owner of the Falcons, said Thursday.
He has also worked for the Raiders, Texans, Seahawks and 49ers during his 25-plus seasons in the NFL.
“The Raiders are saddened and stunned to hear of the passing of Greg Knapp, who served as offensive coordinator over two stints with the Silver and Black,” the team wrote in a statement. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with Coach Knapp’s family during this extremely difficult time.”