Former Green Bay Packers head coach Lindy Infante has passed away at the age of 75 after a long illness. From the Associated Press:
MIAMI (AP) — Lindy Infante, the hard-luck former coach of the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, died Thursday. He was 75. Infante's wife, Stephanie, told The Associated Press that he died in St. Augustine after a lengthy illness.
Infante was a head coach for six years in the NFL, compiling a 36-60 record. He was the NFL Coach of the Year in 1989 with Green Bay, but his only postseason appearance came in 1996 when his Colts lost a wild card game to Pittsburgh, 42-14.
In 1997, the Colts finished 3-13 and Infante was out of a job after two seasons with a 12-20 record. The following offseason, Indianapolis drafted quarterback Peyton Manning.
There was bad timing at Infante's first head-coaching stop in Green Bay, too. He went 24-40 from 1988-91. After the Packers finished 4-12 in his final season, the team overhauled its front office, and the following year general manager Ron Wolf acquired Brett Favre from the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers reasserted themselves as one of the league's top teams.
Safety LeRoy Butler, a mainstay of the Packers defenses in the 1990s, expressed his condolences on Twitter. "He is the one that convinced the Packers to draft me in 1990 — 'we must have this guy,'" Butler wrote.
Infante got the job in Green Bay after Michigan State coach George Perles initially accepted, then backed out.
Infante also had stints as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals (1982) and Cleveland Browns (1986-87). He was known as a shrewd play-caller while with the Browns, with Bernie Kosar at quarterback.
Infante also coached the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL in 1984 and 1985. He played college football at Florida from 1960 to 1962.