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Thursday, January 12, 2012
College, pro coach Jim Stanley dies

ESPN.com news services

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Jim Stanley, who had a long career as a college and pro football coach and scout, has died at age 77.

Stanley died from cancer Thursday in Arizona, school spokesman Kevin Klintworth said.

Stanley was twice a head coach, at Oklahoma State for five seasons and with the USFL's Michigan Panthers for two more, winning the short-lived league's first-ever championship game. He spent many more years as a defensive assistant with NFL teams and as a scout for the Arizona Cardinals.

Stanley played college football as one of the "Junction Boys" under Paul "Bear" Bryant at Texas A&M, at guard and defensive tackle. He worked as an assistant coach at SMU, UTEP and Oklahoma State, where he served as defensive coordinator from 1963 to 1968 and again in 1972 before being named coach.

Stanley was coach at Oklahoma State from 1973 to 1978. He led the Cowboys to a 35-31-2 record, as well as a share of the Big Eight title and a Tangerine Bowl victory in 1976.

A football autographed by the 2011 Big 12 champion Oklahoma State team was presented to Stanley earlier this month when the team was in Arizona to play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

After leaving Oklahoma State, Stanley also worked as a defensive line coach for the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers.

Between his time with the Falcons and Oilers, he was coach of the USFL's Michigan Panthers from 1983-84, reaching the playoffs in both seasons and winning the league's first championship in 1983. He was also defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1986.

Stanley was a defensive line coach for the Cardinals during the 1995 season before joining the team's scouting department, where he worked for 12 seasons until retiring in 2008.

"Football meant so much to Jim Stanley and he meant so much to all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him," Cardinals owner Bill Bidwil said in a statement. "Even in the last year or so that I know had been difficult for him, he was still able to follow the sport closely and I know was very excited earlier this month when Oklahoma State was here for the Fiesta Bowl. All of us at the Cardinals and throughout the football community send our condolences to the entire Stanley family."

Funeral services were pending, Oklahoma State said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.