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Bill McGovern, former Giants assistant coach, dead at 60 after cancer battle

Bill McGovern, a former Giants assistant coach for four seasons, has died after a battle with cancer.

He was 60.

McGovern was holding the role of UCLA’s director of football administration since February after he served as the defensive coordinator under Chip Kelly last season, only completing half the due to his health.

The university announced his death on Tuesday morning.

He had a nearly 40-year career as a coach in the NFL and college football after playing collegiately at Holy Cross.

McGovern was with the Giants from 2016-19 as an assistant.

He served as the linebackers coach for the first two seasons and was at the helm of the Giants’ inside linebackers in 2019.

 “Early this morning we said goodbye to our beloved father and husband Bill after his long and difficult battle with cancer came to an end and today, we would like to thank the entire UCLA community for all of the love and support you gave to Bill and our entire family during this very difficult struggle,” the McGovern family said in a statement.

“In particular, the McGovern family would like to thank UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly and his wife Jill as well as all of the players, coaches, trainers, and support staff of the UCLA football program and their families.

“It was the honor of Bill’s coaching career to be the defensive coordinator for the UCLA Bruins and this past season was one of the highlights of Bill’s coaching career. We are so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a historic athletic tradition and, more importantly, we could not have made it through this past year without the love and prayers of our UCLA family.

Giants linebackers coach Bill McGovern walks onto the field prior to a game against the 49ers.
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“The McGovern family is so grateful and thankful to all of you for your help during this difficult time and we will be indebted to you all forever. Thank you so much and we will cherish the wonderful memories we have of UCLA and our UCLA football family for the rest of our lives.”

In his professional career, McGovern had his hand in many successful defensive units with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013-15, then the Giants, followed by the Chicago Bears in 2021.

He also had college coaching stints with Pittsburgh, Holy Cross, UCLA, Boston College, UMass, Nebraska and Penn.

Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with coaches Mike Dawson and Bill McGovern before a game against the Minnesota Vikings in 2013.
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Bill McGovern talks to reporters on Boston College football's media day.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

“A wonderful coach and an even better person,” the Giants tweeted.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Bill McGovern and offer our deepest condolences to Coach McGovern’s family and friends,” UCLA football wrote.

In his playing career as a defensive back, he set an NCAA Division I-AA record with 11 interceptions in 1984 at Holy Cross, and his 24 career interceptions tied a Division I-AA record.

McGovern is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame and is currently included on the ballot as a possible addition to the College Football Hall of Fame.