SOUTHPORT, N.C. — Former New York Giants and Jets assistant coach Dennis “Denny” Marcin has died. He was 75.

Marcin had been battling an illness and passed away Wednesday in Southport, according to an obituary posted on the website for Peacock, Newnam and White Funeral Home.

The gravelly voiced Marcin, known as “the Old Ball Coach” in football circles, coached the Giants’ defensive line from 1997-2003. He helped guide the likes of Michael Strahan and Keith Hamilton to New York’s Super Bowl appearance during the 2000 season.

After leaving the Giants, Marcin coached the Jets’ defensive linemen, including Shaun Ellis and John Abraham, from 2004-06.

Marcin, born in Cleveland in 1942, played at Miami University and coached in the high school ranks before returning to his alma mater to coach the RedHawks for four years. He then served as the defensive coordinator at North Carolina, where Lawrence Taylor was one of his stars, from 1978-86 before becoming assistant head coach from 1987-88.

Marcin spent nine seasons at Illinois before joining the Giants’ coaching staff.

He returned to Southport after retiring from coaching, but served in a scouting role with the Jets for several years.

Marcin is survived by his wife Betsey, sons Jeff and Denny, daughters Melinda and Susan, and six grandchildren.

A funeral mass will be held Tuesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Southport.


For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL