Long-time Redskins area scout Mike Faulkiner passed away on Tuesday in Hays, Kansas, after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 60.
Faulkiner joined the Redskins as an area scout in 2005. He served in that same capacity with Washington from 1974-78 and was director of college scouting for the Redskins in 2000.
Members of the organization, including former head coach Joe Gibbs, spent significant time last year lending emotional and spiritual support to Faulkiner and his family.
"Mike was an important part of the Redskins organization and we are saddened to lose a member of our family," Gibbs said. "He had a heart for the Redskins and we are grateful for the time and commitment he made to the organization and to each of us.
"We want to celebrate his life with Laura and thank God for the influence that Mike had on us."
Two weeks ago, Faulkiner, a resident of Russell, Kansas, checked into Hays Regional Medical Center. He was reported to be in serious condition.
In recent months, Faulkiner's wife Laura kept an online journal informing readers of her husband's condition.
The most recent entry, dated Jan. 10, stated in part, "The nurses here at the hospital are amazed at his strength for as weak and thin as he is. He is frustrated with what he deems too much help, so his patience is still being tested at times. I just love that he still has his spunk!"
Laura Faulkiner added: "The tributes on Mike's behalf continue to touch our hearts."
Former Redskins head coach George Allen once said that any young man who wanted to become an NFL coach should be willing to work for free.
Faulkiner and future Redskins personnel official Charley Casserly were among those who took Allen up on his suggestion.
Faulkiner was a coaching intern under Allen in the early '70s and was wide receivers coach in 1978 under Jack Pardee.
"Mike had a great eye in terms of evaluating talent," Redskins director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said. "He wasn't afraid to offer his opinion. And he always stuck by it."
Said Redskins national scout Joel Patten, reached in Houston at a practice for the upcoming East-West Shrine Game: "This is an industry that changes a lot of people. But not Mike. He was always a straight shooter."
Patten continued: "I'll tell you this: A lot of people in the scouting profession went to Mike for advice. He was always honest, and always responded with dignity and class."
In 2007, Faulkiner completed his 32nd NFL season and ninth with the the Redskins.
Prior to joining the Redskins in 2005, Faulkiner had been an area scout for the New Orleans Saints. He was the Western Regional Supervisor the last two years with the Saints.
During his long career in the NFL, Faulkiner had coaching stints with the New York Giants (1980), New York Jets (1983-89) and Cleveland Browns (1990).
He was an area scout with San Francisco (1991-97) and served in the front office of Seattle (1998-99).
As a college football player, Faulkiner was quarterback and defensive back at West Virginia Tech from 1965-69.