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Zach Wilson’s Coach, Jets Passing Game Specialist Passes Away Following Bike Accident

Greg Knapp quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons looks on in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Greg Knapp, passing game specialist for the New York Jets and one of Zach Wilson’s coaches, passed away at the age of 58 after suffering significant injuries in a bicycle accident.

Sacramento State, where Knapp played quarterback during his college football career, announced the death of the Jets coach on Thursday, July 22.

“We are heartbroken over the loss of Greg Knapp,” former Utah Utes offensive coordinator and current Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor said in a statement. “Greg was not only a great former Hornet player and coach, but one of the kindest and most generous people that I’ve ever known. His success and humility have been an inspiration to all of us here at Sacramento State. We will continue to carry on his legacy within our football program and wish his family and friends peace and comfort through this difficult loss.”

Knapp suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle near his home in California on Saturday, July 17.

A short time later, the Jets organization confirmed Knapp’s passing.

New York shared the following statement from the Knapp family:

Today at 11:32 am PST, Greg Knapp (aka Knapper) was called back home to Heaven, where he will be reunited with his Dad.

On Saturday, July 17th, 2021, Greg was struck by a car while riding his bicycle, and was rendered unconscious immediately. Greg never regained consciousness. He was surrounded by his mom, his wife, his 3 daughters, and his brother.

Greg spent 33 years coaching football, the first 9 at Sacramento State (where he also played QB) and the next 24 years in the NFL as an Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach. He coached hundreds of players, including: Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Rick Mirer, Matt Schaub, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, and most recently Zach Wilson.

Those of us who were so blessed to have known him, know that he would have wanted even this moment to be a teachable one. So this is it…”Live every day as if it’s your last, and love those around you like it won’t last!”

Greg’s infectious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him. The phrase “He never met a stranger” encapsulates Knapper’s zest for life. He had a unique gift to make everyone feel special, and to Knapper, they all were.

While his family, friends, and players still had so much to learn from him and desperately wished they had more time with him, God called an audible and wanted to go over the game plan directly with him. It will certainly be a masterpiece, just like Greg!

“Knapp, 58, was struck by a single motorist at approximately 2:49 p.m., according to the San Ramon Police Department. Based on the preliminary investigation, drugs and/or alcohol were not a factor, police said. The driver of the vehicle, whose name is being withheld, is cooperating with police,” ESPN reported of the accident.

“Life is a precious thing,” former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson posted on his Instagram story after the news of Knapps’s accident was first reported.

About Greg Knapp

Knapp was about to enter his first season as a member of the Jets organization and his 26th in the NFL.

During the last 22 seasons, he served as a offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach.

Throughout his time in the league, Knapp coached Pro Bowl players, including former quarterbacks Jeff Garcia, Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, and Steve Young.

Knapp is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and three daughters, Jordan, Natalie, and Camille.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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