Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 4/5/12
Former Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Joe Avezzano died Thursday of cardiac failure in Italy, according to multiple reports. According to the reports, Avezzano, 68, died after suffering cardiac failure while running on a treadmill. Avezzano was in Italy to coach the Milano Seamen of the Italian Football League. Avezzano, who played for the Boston Patriots of the American Football League in 1966, joined the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff in 1990 as special-teams coach. Avezzano's fiery emotion on the sideline made him a fan favorite in Dallas, where he was a part of the Cowboys' three Super Bowl championships in the 1990s. He was the only three-time winner of the NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year award. After being fired by the team when Bill Parcells was hired in 2003, Avezzano would continue his coaching career, joining the Oakland Raiders as special-teams coach (2003-05) under Norv Turner, a former Cowboys offensive. Avezzano was a presence in Dallas off the field, too, having opened Coach Joe's Bar and Grill in Frisco, Texas. He also served as a judge on former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin's short-lived reality-television show, "Fourth and Long," on Spike TV.
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