NFL executive Jack Faulkner dies

ST. LOUIS

He died Sunday night in Newport Beach, Calif., the St. Louis Rams said.

"I can't overstate the significance he played in the history of the Rams," said Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom, adding he had known Faulkner since he was 8 years old. "We lost really one of the great connections to our past."

Faulkner had a 53-year career in the NFL. He joined the Rams in 1955 as an assistant coach under first-year coach Sid Gillman. He was associated with the Rams for 43 years.

The San Diego Chargers of the old AFL set a pro football-record with 49 interceptions in 1961 with Faulkner serving as defensive backs coach. He was the Broncos' coach and general manager in 1962, and was honored as AFL coach of the year after leading the financially strapped franchise to a 7-7 record.

He worked as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints before rejoining the Rams in 1971 as a professional and college scout.

Faulkner most recently had been the Rams' administrator for pro personnel, working out of his office in Orange County, Calif. He retired from coaching after serving as offensive backfield coach in 1979, helping the Rams reach their first Super Bowl before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1980, he was appointed assistant general manager of the Rams. He was one of few employees who remained in California when the team relocated to St. Louis in 1995.

Faulkner is survived by his wife, Debbie, three sons and a daughter.

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