RIP coach... Putting Central Valley on the map.
My condolences to the Sweeney Family.
Dear Sheila and family,
Although I never met Coach Sweeney, I felt I knew him through Sheila who regaled me with wonderful, funny stories of life in the Sweeney family. One story I recall was when Coach Sweeney "rode" across the stadium in triumph imitating the Trojan mascot after defeating USC! Sheila, you and your family have my deepest sympathy. And Happy Birthday; I never forget to wish you a H.B. on the 13th. Please get in touch. Love from your "winged sister", Diane Latta (904) 247-2867
May the God of the bible strengthen you during this most difficult time.
Another Butte boy does good - a life well lived. God Bless the Sweeney family.
May God bless you coach Sweeney and all the lives you touched. you are the best and always will be.
We will miss you coach. You taught us life lessons about how to pursue our dreams. You affected so many of us who didnt play the game of football. You gave us that Bulldog Spirit that will live within my famaily forever. Thank you so much, The Sorbo Family
Butte, Portland, Kalispell, Bozeman, Pullman, Fresno. We all claim him as our own, when he really belongs to all of us. He made a huge impact everywhere he went. Thanks Coach.
A prayer for the Sweeney family in the loss of Dad,Coach and my mentor. If it had not been for coach Sweeney to keep me in line and focused in high school, I would not have gone to Montana State,play football and graduate. To follow a life in teaching and coaching young people. Coach Sweeney was tough, but sincere on us to become winners. Coach was a very positive influence on my life and will always remember the lessons and times together.
Gordon Schlabs, former player-Flathead High School and Montana State
Jim Sweeney alloawed me to play college football at Montana State and fullfill a dream. He was a great football coach with a passion for the game ans a true motivator. He touched the lives of many young men!
Our deepest sympathy to the Sweeney Family, our prayers are with you.
My condolences to the Sweeney family. Thanks to Jim, he brought a great football program to Fresno and gave the city national recognition with his excellent teams and victories. His coaching was much appreciated by myself and friends as we watched his Bulldogs play. Thanks for the memories.
Jim Sweeney made us proud of Fresno. He along with Boyd Grant put Fresno State athletics on the map during the Fresno Showtime era. Condolences to the Sweeney family.
You made us proud to be a Bulldog! And, I've still got that "Bulldog Spirit". RIP
Coach and family,
You have been an important part of my growing from young man to father. When we first meet you challenged me in what turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. You took a team that had been abused and showed us leadership. My mother and father hoped you could continue teaching and helping raise thier young son, which you did. For that you will always be in my HALL OF FAME.
Sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in the Hearer of prayer at this time. Psalm 65:2
To all of the Sweeney family,
I cannot tell you how lucky I am to have been able to play for your Dad. I was a 6'1" 205 lb tight end. I was not recruited by anyone. The only thing I knew about Fresno State was it was where my sister went to school and it was where my first swim meet was when I was 7 years old. I remember lying in my living room one Saturday afternoon and for some reason I was listening to the Bulldogs play Long Beach at Radcliffe. I thought it was strange because I was going to be playing FCC that very night also at Radcliffe. Fate is a funny thing and I happened to have one of my best games that night and your Dad stuck around to see it. I am the twelfth kid of fourteen so your dad and I hit it off right from the start. From the moment I met him, I knew I wanted to play for him. I was not looking for a scholarship, I just wanted to play, of course, I did not tell him that. He told me I could earn a scholarship in the fall. I worked harder than ever and he fulfilled his promise. I often wonder what my life would be like had I not been playing right after the Bulldogs that Saturday night.
Your dad always treated me with respect and pushed me to my potential on the field and in life. I was just one of many players given a rare opportunity by your dad. We all just wanted to keep playing and he allowed us to do that. He put together winning teams at every school he coached because he could always bring out the best in his players.
The most fun I ever had was in Arizona in 1981. All week he would tell us that there would be 65,000 fans there wanting to see us lose. All week long he would yell "Sixty-five thousand!" The team would respond "Disappointed fans!" There wasn't quite 65,000 fans there that night but that rally cry inspired us to a VICTORY. Your dad is on to a better place but he will continue to inspire all he has touched.
God Bless You All.
Coach it was great playing for you (91-92). You were one of a kind. Nick Serfas
Jim Sweeney was coach in Kalispell, MT when I was in high school there. I looked him up in my old annuals; a very nice- looking young man at the beginning of a great career! There's an excellent writeup at dailyinterlake.com in Kalispell. May God bring comfort to his family.
I spent 8 great years with Coach Sweeney- from 1958-1960 at Flathead High and 1960-1965 at Montana State. He was a great mentor for my coaching career both in MT and OR where I continued on with his coaching philosophy. He will be greatly missed.
Jim Sweeney truly is the father of Bulldog football! For those like me that remember the games at Radcliffe Stadium against no name opponents to today at Bulldog Stadium and Jim Sweeney field where the Bulldogs are playing Big 10 opponents, Fresnans owe so much gratitude to Jim Sweeney. If you're in Las Vegas and you see a car with Nevada plates that says "FRESNO", stop me so we can put in a prayer for Jim Sweeney's family. How much he has impacted my life!
Coach was like a Father to me and I suspect so many young men that he came in contact. I arrived in Pullman with enough money to pay one semester. Coach Sweeney made it possible for me to work for the Athletic Department which eventually led to a full scholarship. Without his caring I would not have been afforded my education. A person you could trust with the deepest of secrets and always willing to help. Our thoughts and prayers to his family. We have lost a great figure in not only sports but life in general. Thanks Coach, I will miss you.
Offering my deepest condolences during this difficult time, I'm so very sorry for your loss, death is something we are never prepared for, but please find comfort in knowing God has promised He will do away with sickness, pain and death for His word is truth.
Coach Sweeney had as much or more of a
positive impact on my life than any one
person. As a youngster growing up in Butte it was inspiring to watch his
teams ( Butte Central ) play and win often against all odds including a state championship. He gave me the opportunity to coach as a graduate assistant at Montana State and later as an assistant at Washington State University. My only regret is that I did not have the opportunity to play for him. Every place he was head coach got better and he left them much better than when he found them to the benefit of his successors. I learned a great deal about football from him but, more importantly, learned a lot about life.
Of those many things one stands out.
He would talk about never underestimating the power of the human
equation, of the human spirit. I did not fully understand and appreciate that until later in my personal and professional life Always remembered it and was able to personally and professionally witness and experience the positive power of the human equation, of the human spirit.
Coach Sweeney's life as a coach and person is a testimony to the power of the human equation, of the human spirit.
It is impossible to relate the feelings one has about Coach Sweeney. We are fortunate that he was part of our lives. That will always be.
He is in a great place now and there
may the wind be always at your back, the sun shine warm upon your face, The rain fall gently in your fields and until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the Sweeney family.
Bill, Gwen, Lisa, Aaron and Lily Cords
You were the best and the players who had the honor to play fo you are today better men or it. I truly enjoyed every minute I spent with you on and off the field. You will alaways be missed but never forgotten. Good bye old friend.
Coach Tom Bass
To the Sweeney family. Keep the good thoughts of your father in your minds & hearts. I remember my brush with him. It was in Las Vegas when he won his 199th game. I had a sign that said 199. I hollered at him coach 199 coach & he looked up in the stands & grined & said 199. I will truly miss him as a Bulldog fan & I know he touched us all in some way. RIP oh great Coach. I will miss you truly.
Mr. Sweeney seemed like a person who lived his life to the fullest. Now he's asleep hoping to hear the words Lazarus heard when Jesus resurrected him saying "Lazarus come out" meaning from the grave. So for now rest in peace.
I JUST READ THAT COACH PASSED. MY CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY. I 1ST MET COACH IN 1969 WHEN HE WAS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH WASH.STATE .HE WAS SITTING IN A ROOM ALL BY HELF AFTER A NARTOW LOSS TO USC...WE WERE RECTUITEBY HIS STAF..HE SHOOK MY HAND " WOW" WHAT A GOOD MAN!I THOUGHT..BECAUSE HE WAS IN MOOD TO MEET ANYBODY..HE WS SO GOOD TO US!..2ND I MEYT HIM AGAIN SS HE SDPOK AT RAMS PARK..WHAT A GREAT VOICE AND SPEAKER!..(SORRY TYPYING ON A LITTLE PHONE!)..RIP COACH!..NO HE WILL BE REJOICING!
To the entire Sweeney Family our sincere condolences from the Kambich Family, Butte, Montana. Although, the families were separated over a thousand miles, we reflect on where it all got started. It started at Butte Central then up to the North Country Kalispell,Montana. Kalispell, where a number of Sweeney and Kambich kids were born. As a Child I remember going to Bozeman and staying at the Sweeney house and Jim taking us over to the college to swim. My father Willie enjoyed playing golf in the 80's, 90's and early 2000. There are far to many stories dating back to the 50's and 60's therefore on behalf of the Kambich Family ( Ceil, Michelle, Steve and Jim)our thoughts and prayers are with all of you June and the Children and grandchildren.
You have made us proud! Thanks Coach for all the wonderful memories. What a great life, we were blessed with your presence.
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
My sincere condolence for the loss of Jim your dear loved one. May your fond memories of him bring good thoughts. Peace and love to your family and friends, and to the love that you show. firstname.lastname@example.org
A man bigger than life. He put Fresno State on the map, thank you.
My thoughts and prayers to his family.
May Coach Sweeney rest in peace and his memory live on forever.
Kevin! I'm so sorry to hear the passing of your champion Dad coach Sweeney.
Darla Robinson Harrison
My sympathy to all the family. When Jim would visit,I would love to hear the old stories and even though the miles and years separated them, you would never know it when they got together. I see Jim and Willie playing a round of golf and catching up and having a martini. Again my sympathy and love to all,
Coach, Thanks for all the wonderful memories. Thanks for letting a young boy watch practice and turn me into one of the proudest ambassadors of Fresno State Athletics. Will always be thinking of you walking down that ramp!
Very sorry to hear of coach sweeney's passing. He was a great inspiration to me and my team mates at Montana State in the 60's as he led us to a Camelia Bowl championship in 1964.
I will always hold him clise to my heart. My thoughts and prayers ar with his family.
Coach Sweeney, you were an amazing man, what you did for Fresno State will never be forgotten, God Bless You Coach,you will be deeply missed
Just heard this sad news from my dad. I am happy that you are no longer suffering, but what a loss. You made a difference. Your presence always filled the room and your energy was contagious. So fortunate to have known you. Thanks for including me among your many, many, many friends. Memories of you always make me smile. You are awesome! I love you!
Coach never had a chance to meet you, but when you coached at Fresno state it made my young heart fill with joy, You will surely be missed!! "Hail BIG RED" Go bulldogs!!!
Coach, sitting next to you at the games this past year was an honor, and a privilege. Thank you.
Coach how can we ever thank you enough You said we're a sleeping giant and you awoke us all to the possibilities RIP
Class of 80