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Former Lions head coach Rick Forzano dies at age 90

The man responsible for bringing Bill Belichick to Detroit has passed.

NFL: Detroit Lions-Minicamp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, former Detroit Lions head coach Rick Forzano passed away at the age of 90. Forzano was the Lions’ head coach from 1974 to 1976, racking up a 15-17 record over that time. Team owner Martha Firestone Ford offered the following statement on the passing of Forzano:

“Rick was a wonderful man and we are truly saddened by the news of his passing. On behalf of me, my family and the Lions organization, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the entire Forzano family. Our thoughts are with his wife Betty, daughters Stacey and Kristie and his son, Rick Jr.”

Perhaps the most notable impact Forzano made on the Detroit Lions was the hiring of a young assistant named Bill Belichick, who earned his first NFL job in 1976 as an assistant coach with the Lions. NFL Films recently did a feature on Forzano, reuniting him with Belichick in Detroit, as they both reflected on their brief time with the franchise and their history together.

Rest in peace, Rick.

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