Former Patriots head coach Fairbanks passes away

The New England Patriots announced on Tuesday that former head coach Chuck Fairbanks passed away due to brain cancer.

He was 79 years old.

Fairbanks was wooed away from Oklahoma prior to the 1973 season and coached the Patriots until the end of the 1978 campaign, when he was suspended by team ownership for agreeing to become the head coach at Colorado. He racked up a 46-39 regular-season record and 0-2 in the postseason.

The Michigan State product also served as an assistant coach with Arizona State and Houston, and was the first head coach in the brief history of the USFL's New Jersey Generals.

All told, Fairbanks went 59-41-1 in the collegiate ranks, which included a 52-15-1 mark in five seasons with the Sooners from 1967-72.