Longtime Rams and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese died on Monday.
He was 86.
Zampese spent more than five decades coaching both at the collegiate level and in the NFL, and won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys during his 14-year run as an offensive coordinator.
He joined the San Diego Chargers as a secondary coach in 1976 following a nine-year run in the same post at San Diego State. He remained there until 1987, when he jumped to the Los Angeles Rams and took over as their offensive coordinator.
Zampese remained in Los Angeles for seven seasons, and helped the Rams finish in the top 10 in passing yards in five of those seasons before he landed in Dallas in 1994. He helped lead Troy Aikman to a Super Bowl win in 1995 — the team’s third in four seasons.
Zampese also spent two seasons with the New England Patriots in 1998 and 1999 before returning to both the Cowboys, Rams and Washington Commanders as an offensive consultant. He retired in 2004, and was a winner of the inaugural Award of Excellence from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Lost a good one today,” Aikman wrote on Instagram. “Ernie Zampese was one of the brightest offensive minds in the history of the game — many of his offensive concepts are still being used to this day … A friend and mentor to so many.”
Zampese’s son, Ken Zampese, is currently working as the quarterbacks coach with the Commanders.
We mourn the loss of Ernie Zampese, father of QB coach Ken Zampese, and one of the most innovative offensive minds throughout his long NFL coaching career. Our hearts are with Ken and the entire Zampese family.
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 29, 2022