Former Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Joe Avezzano died today after a heart attack in Italy, where he was coaching a team. He was 68.
The Cowboys’ special teams coach for three Super Bowl titles, Avezzano was in his first year as head coach of the Italian Football League’s Seamen Milano, which announced his death on its website.
“No one enjoyed life more than Joe, and no one that I know had a greater appreciation for the people that he loved and the lives that he touched,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. “He was an original. There was no one else like him.”
Avezzano was an assistant in Dallas from 1990 to 2002, a tenure that included eight playoff appearances and Super Bowl titles following the 1992, 1993 and 1995 seasons.
In 2002, Avezzano was the inaugural head coach of the Cowboys-owned Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League, according to the team’s website. He later coached with the Oakland Raiders before moving to Italy.