New England Patriots fans are mourning the loss of one of the team's former coaches this week.
Former Patriots defensive coordinator and head coach Rod Rust passed away at 90 years old on Tuesday morning. The Iowa native had an illustrious career as a football coach which included some time with the Patriots.
Rust was the team's defensive coordinator from 1983 to 1987 which means he coached the defense of the 1985 Patriots--the ones who squished the fish, won the AFC championship and made the team's first ever Super Bowl appearance (Super Bowl XX against the Chicago Bears).
Rust was also the Patriots head coach in 1990, but let's not talk about it; those weren't exactly the team's proudest days on either side of the ball as they struggled to a 1-15 finish. Going through three different starting quarterbacks that year certainly didn't help the cause either, especially when arguably the top performer was Steve Grogan, who was 187 years old at the time.
Rust had a long coaching career outside of New England as well. After the Iowa State grad was finished with his military service, he started coaching high school football. Later, he became an assistant at New Mexico and Stanford before taking over the North Texas State football team.
From there, he kept moving up, becoming a CFL coach in Montreal during the 1970s. Next, he went to the Philadelphia Eagles to coach the linebackers and then the Kansas City Chiefs to be a defensive coordinator--the job he held before being hired by the Pats.
Oh yeah, and he also coached the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. Not to mention he coached the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL when he was 77.
Needless to say, he is a man who was dedicated to the game of football--and wanted to help others be the best players possible.