Former Saints coach Dick Stanfel, who directed team through final four games of 1980 season, dies at age 87 _lowres

Dick Stanfel during a news conference Nov. 25, 1980, naming him the new interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints. He replaced Dick Nolan, who was fired. (AP Photo)

Former New Orleans Saints coach Dick Stanfel died earlier this week after a long illness. He was 87.

The Chicago Tribune reported Stanfel died Monday in Libertyville, Illinois. The Bears announced his passing Thursday.

Stanfel was New Orleans’ offensive line coach from 1976-80. He was interim head coach of the Saints for the final four games of the 1980 season after Dick Nolan was fired following a 27-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Saints went 1-3 under Stanfel, finishing the season 1-15. Stanfel was the seventh coach in team history.

He joined the Chicago Bears as an offensive line coach in 1981; he won a Super Bowl in 1985 and finished his coaching career in 1992.

Bum Phillips was hired to coach the Saints in 1981 and remained through the 1985 season.

Stanfel was a standout offensive linemen in the 1950s, playing for the Detroit Lions (1952-55) and Washington Redskins (1956-58). He won two NFL championships (1952 and ’53) and was named to the Pro Bowl team five times. He also was named to the NFL’s 1950s All-Decade Team.

Stanfel was named a senior nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and 2012, but he did not receive enough votes for enshrinement.

Stanfel is survived by three children: Richard Stanfel Jr., Scott Stanfel and Jon Stanfel.