Longtime NFL assistant coach Bob Karmelowicz died Saturday at age 60, the Lions announced Sunday. The cause of death was cancer of the nasal passages, according to the Kansas City Star.
Karmelowicz's coaching career spanned 35 years, including 18 years at the pro level. His NFL stops included Cincinnati (1992-93), Washington (1994-96), Kansas City (1997-2005), Houston (2006-08) and Detroit (2009).
"I've had the privilege of coaching with and against 'Karm' for a long time and he was one tough guy," Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said in a statement released by the Lions. "Though his coaching success on the field speaks for itself, I will always remember him for how much he loved kids, his compassion for helping kids and how much he cared for his grandkids. That will always be his lasting impression on me."
Karmelowicz spent most of his career coaching the defensive line. At the University of Miami (1989-91) he coached future NFL DTs Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy and Russell Maryland, as well as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who went into pro wrestling and professional acting.
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