Steve Sidwell, former Patriots defensive coach, dies at 78


Steve Sidwell served as defensive coordinator for the Patriots from 1997-99. FRANK O’BRIEN, GLOBE STAFF

Steve Sidwell, who served as linebackers coach for the Patriots from 1982-84 and was New England’s defensive coordinator from 1997-99, died Wednesday night. He was 78.

“I’m unhappy to be taught of the passing of Steve Sidwell,” Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft mentioned in an announcement. “I actually loved the time I spent with him whereas he was right here. He was at all times very sincere and candid in his analysis of our gamers and our performances. My ideas are along with his spouse, Kathleen, his household and all who’re mourning his loss. He shall be missed.”

Sidwell, who coached 21 seasons within the NFL, was finest recognized for his success because the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 1986-94. Throughout his tenure, New Orleans led the league in fewest factors allowed (1991-92), run protection (1989), and go protection (1992-93).

Throughout his time with New Orleans, seven defensive Saints gamers had been chosen to a complete of 18 Professional Bowls, together with all 4 beginning linebackers in 1992. Out of these 4 linebackers, each Rickey Jackson and Sam Mills had been voted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, whereas Pat Swilling led the NFL with 17 sacks in 1991 en path to being named AP NFL Defensive Participant of the Yr.

“For 9 years, Steve Sidwell performed an integral position within the success of the New Orleans Saints and helped develop a number of of the franchise’s best defensive gamers,” Saints proprietor Gayle Benson mentioned in an announcement. “The success of those groups and gamers proceed to resonate with our group and fan base to today.”

Sidwell was an all-conference linebacker on the College of Colorado, and commenced his teaching profession as a linebackers coach at his alma mater from 1966-73. Whereas there, he labored with Jim Mora, whom he later labored with in each New England and New Orleans.

After stints with UNLV and SMU, Sidwell moved to the NFL when he grew to become the Patriots linebackers coach in 1982.

Sidwell was the daddy of Scott and Brad Sidwell, the latter of whom is a Brown graduate and the present soccer coach at Taunton Excessive Faculty. Brad beforehand served as soccer coach and athletic director at Franklin Excessive Faculty.

Scott, an athletic administrator at Penn State, shared a tribute to his father on social media Thursday.

“A hero, dad, husband, HOF good friend,” Scott wrote in a submit. “An enormous persona that was real and genuine. There’ll by no means be one other one like my Dad.”

Sidwell was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Corridor of Fame in 2004.