Jim Sweeney, a former offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers who later coached at the University at Albany, has passed away at the age of 60. The cause of death has not yet been released, but it is known that Sweeney had been battling life threatening disease, although clear response from the family side is yet to come.
Sweeney was a part of the Steelers organization for 16 years, playing in 161 games and starting in 131 of them. After his retirement from playing, he served as an assistant coach with Albany for eight seasons under head coach Greg Gattuso. During his time with the Great Danes, Sweeney helped develop many players who would go on to play in the NFL, including Pro Bowler Richie Incognito.
In 2011, Sweeney left Albany to become the offensive line coach for the New York Jets. He remained in that position until his death.
Jim Sweeney Career Highlights
Sweeney was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 1984 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he started two games at left guard before taking over and starting 16 games there. In 1986–1987, he switched to left tackle outside.
From 1988 through 1994, the versatile professional took over as the team’s main centre. Sweeney spent the final four years of his 16-year NFL career with the Steelers after relocating to Seattle in 1995.
The legendary lineman coached collegiately at Duquesne (2000-02) and Albany after playing all five OL positions and tight end for his hometown Pitt Panth.
Throughout his career, Sweeney was known as a great player and mentor to younger players. His passion for the game and his dedication to helping others achieve their goals will be sorely missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.