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Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Vince Tobin, who in 1998 led the franchise to its first playoff win in 51 seasons, died Monday morning at the age of 79, the team announced. 

"Our deepest condolences go out to everyone who knew and loved Vince Tobin, and in particular his wife Kathy and their family," Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a statement. "As head coach of the Cardinals, his steady leadership was a constant and a big part of the success the team enjoyed during his tenure. His football legacy with us is highlighted by the thrilling 1998 season, return to the postseason, and upset playoff win at Dallas. He will also be remembered for his instrumental role in key decisions like drafting Jake Plummer and Pat Tillman. More than that, he was a consummate family man and always a class act who positively impacted everyone he encountered."

Hired in 1996 to replace Buddy Ryan, Tobin took over a team that had gone 4-12 the previous year. The Cardinals improved to 7-9 in his first season, but did not make the playoffs until his third year. Behind Jake Plummer and Adrian Murrell on offense and players like Aeneas Williams, Andre Wadsworth, Pat Tillman, Jamir Miller and more on defense, the Cardinals upset the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys -- while holding them to only seven points -- in the wild-card round before falling to the Minnesota Vikings the following week. Arizona had previously not won a playoff game since 1947, when the team was still in Chicago. 

Prior to landing in Arizona, Tobin served for seven seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. (Notably, he also succeeded Buddy Ryan in that role.) Those Bears defenses annually ranked among the best in the NFL. Following his tenure in Arizona, which ended after a 2-5 start in 2000, Tobin spent only two more seasons coaching in the NFL -- one as the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions and another as the special teams coordinator for the Green Bay Packers.

His brother, Bill Tobin, was the general manager of both the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts, while his nephew, Duke, currently serves as the de facto general manager of the Cincinnati Bengals