Former CU football coach Fairbanks passes away

Fairbanks coached Buffs for three years

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Former University of Colorado football coach Chuck Fairbanks passed away on Tuesday.

Fairbanks, who coached Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens at Oklahoma and spent six seasons as coach of the New England Patriots, died after battling brain cancer. He was 79.

Fairbanks coached the Buffs for three years, 1979-1981, after his stint as an NFL coach in a legal battle. His CU legacy was not impressionable, as the Buffalos were 7-26 during his tenure.

Fairbanks was 52-15-1 in six years with the Sooners, including an Orange Bowl victory his first season and consecutive Sugar Bowls wins in 1971-72 before taking over the Patriots. He won 46 games for New England, a franchise record at the time.

 He also was coach and general manager of the New Jersey Generals in the USFL.

Owens says Fairbanks "was a special coach, he was a special friend."