Super Bowl 2022 marks the second time the Los Angeles Rams have appeared since their return to L.A. The last time the Rams competed in 2019, John Fassel was the special teams coordinator for the Rams.

Fassel’s family has deep rooted connections to the Fullerton College Hornets. Those roots begin with John’s father, Jim Fassel, a quarterback who took the Hornets to a national title in 1967.

Jim Fassel playing quarterback for Fullerton College in 1967

Jim Fassel playing quarterback for Fullerton College in 1967. Photo credit: courtesy of Jim Fassell & Phil Thurman

James, who went by Jim Edward Fassel, was born in Anaheim, and became assistant coach for the New York Giants during the ’91-92 season, winning the NFC Championship game in ’92.

Next Jim took the team to the largest stage the NFL has to offer the 1991 Super Bowl. The Giants won 20-19 against the Buffalo Bills in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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Jim passed away from a heart attack in ’21. He was 71-years-old. Survived by his wife, five kids, and grandkids, Jim’s legacy lives on through Hornet football where some of his playing records are still intact.

Jim Fassel coaches his players at the University of Stanford

Jim Fassel coaches his players at the University of Stanford Photo credit: courtesy of Jim Fassel & Phil Thurman

Jim played quarterback under head coach Hal Sherbeck, in ’67 and ’68. Sherbeck amassed a record of 247-70-8 with 16 conference titles and three national titles in the five years he coached at Fullerton College.

“When you can win 47 straight games over five years and have a bunch of misfits winning those games for you, that’s great coaching,” said Jim to the Hornet in 2015.

Jim continued with football after his time at FC. While working for the Giants, he told coach Sherbeck, “Coach, pack your bags because you are coming with me to the Superbowl,” after winning the NFC conference championship game. Jim went on to win the NFL coach of the year in 1997.

From left to right: Former Hornets Steve DeBerg, John Pease, and Jim Fassel with Coach Hal Sherbeck (2010)

From left to right: Former Hornets Steve DeBerg, John Pease, and Jim Fassel with Coach Hal Sherbeck (2010) Photo credit: courtesy of Jim Fassell & Phil Thurman

After his time with the Giants, he joined the Baltimore Ravens as an offensive consultant and later the offensive coordinator. His time with the NFL ended after a stint with the Ravens in 2006.

Jim had a short run as a coach in the United Football League where he made it to the UFL championship game three times and won twice.

In between his NFL and UFL stints, he had a broadcasting career as a color commentator. Jim famously called the 2007 and 2008 NFC championship games.

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Jim’s son, John Fassel, is an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree. Also born in Anaheim, John played football at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, and at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He later became an undrafted free agent for the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 preseason but was cut by the end of training camp.

After his playing career ended, John followed in his father’s footsteps and continued as a coach. His love for the game could not keep him away from the gridiron, a football field marked with parallel lines, taking jobs as head coach in New Mexico for a Division II school, and later with NFL Europe in Amsterdam.

Coming back to the states with the NFL. He worked alongside his father in Baltimore as the Ravens special teams assistant. John went on to work for the Oakland Raiders and the Rams organization as the special teams coordinator.

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When the Rams made the move from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016, John became the interim head coach during week 14, when Jeff Fisher was fired from the head coach position.

The Rams made it to the Super Bowl in 2018 with a 13-3 record. They were first place in the NFC West division but even with John’s experience, they failed against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Jim and John Fassel both made it to the top of the pile when it comes to football. As Super Bowl 2022 kicks off and Hornets all over Orange County tune in to watch the game, the halftime performance, or just the commercials the Fassel football legacy reminds us that Fullerton College students and student-athletes will go on to do great things — Once a Hornet Always a Hornet!

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He/Him/His. Gerardo is a Journalism Major. Hiking expert. Outdoors enthusiast. Sports lover.