Harbaughs' grandfather dies at 98

Updated: January 13, 2014, 6:42 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Joe Cipiti, the grandfather of NFL coaching brothers Jim and John Harbaugh, has died. He was 98.

Cipiti died Sunday morning in Ohio, and Jim Harbaugh spoke fondly of his grandfather Monday as the coach began San Francisco's preparations for the NFC title game Sunday in Seattle.

Along with the Harbaughs' parents, Cipiti attended last year's Super Bowl in New Orleans, where John's Baltimore Ravens beat Jim's 49ers 34-31.

Jim Harbaugh says Cipiti watched as San Francisco beat Green Bay in the wild-card round Jan. 5. He said it was hard coaching during Sunday's 23-10 win at Carolina, calling his grandfather "an amazing storyteller. He is a poet of life. A man that was all about family."

Harbaugh will miss the memorial service Friday, "a bit of a crushing blow."


Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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