The way a lot of sports fans remember Dennis Green was a bizarre rant after his Arizona Cardinals lost to the Chicago Bears when he said, "They are exactly who we thought they were."
But, there was much more to him. Starting with his Bay Area ties.
In an interview, Green once said, "As you know, I've always considered myself part of the 49er family,"
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Dennis Green. Sending condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/SDMc4YmRTo— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) July 22, 2016
He was an assistant under Bill Walsh in the late 70s, coaching special teams and wide receivers like 49er legend Jerry Rice.
"He was my wide receiver coach for so many years and we stayed friends over the years also," he said in a phone interview. "So I'm real saddened by it. He really did a lot for my career."
And ABC7's own sports anchor Mike Shumann.
"He taught you that this is a profession now and you've got to be serious about it," he said. "And for young players he was kinda just what you needed."
After leaving the Niners, Green moved on to Stanford, becoming the first African American head coach on The Farm and in the Pac 12. He blazed a similar trail at Northwestern, becoming the Big Ten's first black head coach.
Former Niner head coach Steve Mariucci coached against him at Cal and in the pros.
"He learned from the best, Bill Walsh, many of us did," he said. "But he was able to take his own style to those programs and really make the most of it."
As for that outburst after the Bears beat Green's Cardinals, Shu says it just showed his intensity.
"He said this is just what they were, they're not invincible, we knew we could be 'em, and he was just upset they didn't come through with it," he said.
Green died Friday morning from a massive heart attack. He was 67.
In memory of Dennis Green. pic.twitter.com/l89qWDavml— GoStanford Vault (@GoStanfordVault) July 23, 2016
We lost a good man today. I loved playing for Denny Green at Stanford. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace Coach.— Ed McCaffrey (@87ed) July 22, 2016
I am deeply sorry to hear of the passing of my Stanford football coach & NFL coach Denny Green. My condolences are with all his loved ones.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 22, 2016
Cardinals President Michael Bidwill on the passing of Dennis Green: pic.twitter.com/5dpTYZDNkC— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) July 22, 2016
Denny Green did so much for me but the best thing was allowing his Asst coaches to have time with their families. pic.twitter.com/HcUGP6wUAv— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) July 22, 2016
My heart goes out to family of my former coach Denny Green - we lost a good man way too soon!— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) July 22, 2016