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Leading American football coach killed after driver swerved into bike lane

Greg Knapp, who helped coach Denver Broncos to Superbowl 50 win, died five days after incident in California

A leading American football coach has been killed while cycling after a driver swerved into a bike lane in California.

Greg Knapp’s family announced yesterday that the 58-year-old had died in hospital five days after the crash in San Ramon, around five miles east of the San Francisco Bay city of Oakland.

The incident happened at around 2.50pm on Saturday 17 July, with Knapp’s agent confirming that the driver, a 22-year-old man, had swerved into the cycle lane he was riding in, reports NBC News.

The fatal crash happened when the coach, Nicknamed ‘Knapper’, was on a bike ride from his home in Danville, which borders San Ramon to the north.

Reporting of the incident has attracted widespread criticism on social media and in this article from Bicycling.com, with a number of outlets headlining their coverage with phrases such as “bicycle crash” or “bicycle accident” and making no mention of the motorist.

In a statement released via his agent, his family said: “Those of us who were so blessed to have known him, know that he would have wanted even this moment to be a teachable one.

“So this is it ... ‘Live every day as if it's your last, and love those around you like it won't last!’”

Teams that Knapp worked for during his career included the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, as they were known until the franchise moved to Las Vegas, and the Denver Broncos where he was quarterback coach to Peyton Manning including winning Superbowl 50 in 2016.

After three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons as quarterback coach, he joined the New York Jets in January this year.

The team’s head coach, Robert Saleh, said: “Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards.

 He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way. In his short time here, I believe the people in this organisation had a chance to experience that connection. Greg, thank you for all that you have shared with us, you will be missed brother."

Talking about his job at a training camp last month, Knapp told journalists: “It is really cool. Both my parents are teachers. It’s like, here's the canvas, start teaching them what you know without overteaching them too quickly. So that's the challenge, but it's really exciting.

“I've had both extremes. I've had the veteran guys in Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning and Steve Young, and I've had some young guys.

“What's really cool for me is, as I've gotten older, I can say, here, from my experiences, I can tell you this because I've got enough trial and error on it. And they're getting it, they're learning. It's pretty exciting and it's invigorating for me, I'll be honest with you. I enjoy it a lot.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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