"I'm Bulldog Born, Bulldog Bred and I'm going to be a Bulldog until the day I'm Dead! Go Dogs!"
Fresno State's legendary head football coach Jim Sweeney passed away Friday, Feb. 8. He was 83 years old.
Sweeney led the Bulldogs for 19 years on the sidelines, finishing as Fresno State's all-time wins leader with 143 victories. In his 32 seasons as a head coach he finished with 200 wins.
Fresno State mourns the loss of our legendary Coach Sweeney. He loved our student-athletes & Fresno State. A memorial service will be planned in Bulldog Stadium, more details to follow.
Below is a compilation from Bulldog alumni, fans and friends remembering Jim Sweeney.
"Our football team and staff are deeply saddened by the news of Coach Jim Sweeney's death. Coach Sweeney is an icon in College football who put Fresno State football on the national map. His larger than life personality and tenacity in which he coached the game are legendary. He will be sorely missed not only in Fresno and the Valley, but by the coaching community as a whole. We pray that Coach Sweeney's family will be comforted by the knowledge that Coach's impact was profound and his legacy will live in the hearts of the Red Wave for a long, long time." - Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter
"Most of what our football program has accomplished in recent years was clearly made possible by the path that Coach Sweeney blazed for Fresno State Football throughout his two decades of leadership. He was a man of vision, toughness and character who led the Bulldogs to new heights and went on to become a national icon. Our deepest condolences go out to June as well as Jim's entire family. It is our hope that all will find comfort in knowing that Coach Sweeney will be missed by thousands and honored always at Fresno State." - Fresno State Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh
"Jim Sweeney is a Bulldog legend who will be deeply missed in our community, Not only was he one of Fresno State's most successful football coaches, but he was also a man who loved his student-athletes, first as individuals, and second as athletes, making their well-being a priority. Jim was devoted to Fresno and to our university - he embodied the true Bulldog spirit." - Fresno State President John D. Welty
"I came to Fresno in 1983 because of Jim Sweeney! I decided to stay in Fresno after my Bulldog playing days because of Jim Sweeney! He is and always will be a father figure to me! My father died in my mid 20's, he filled that void. He treated me like a son, not a player. He taught me how to be a man, how to be accountable for your actions every day, to do the right thing, not just sometimes, all the time! To this day I use his five success essentials in life! The SWEENEYISM'S that he taught me are a part of my daily thoughts and coaching to my staff and family! `If you always do what you have always done than you will always be what you have always been' is definitely one of my favorites. Attitude is everything is what I have told my children for the last 15 years. When I would screw up he would let me have it, but always ended with `that is not like you', `all setbacks in life are temporary and should be treated as such!' He taught you how to enjoy life, not just to live, but to LAUGH along the journey!! I love Jim Sweeney and I will always love Jim Sweeney! Bulldog Born, Bulldog Bred, Gonna be a Bulldog to the day I am dead!!" - Chris Pacheco, who played for Jim Sweeney at Fresno State in 1984 and 1985
"Today is a sad day for me. Coach Sweeney passed away. He was such a kind man to me and I loved him. He was A huge supporter of mine on and off the field. He will be missed my many but never forgotten. I will miss him dearly!" - RaeAnn Schmidt, who played softball at Fresno State from 1988-91