SMU spokesman Brad Sutton said Gansz developed complications after undergoing knee replacement surgery last Wednesday. He said Gansz died Monday afternoon.
Gansz came out of the surgery without any issues but suffered complications from a blood clot soon afterward, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel told ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel last week.
During his 38 years of coaching, Gansz spent 24 years in the NFL with eight different teams (1978-2001). He served two seasons as head coach of the Chiefs (1987-88), where he had a 8-22-1 record.
Gansz was hired in Detroit the following season and was named NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year. Gansz also coached special teams for the St. Louis Rams when they won the Super Bowl in the 1999 season. He retired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2001, only to be lured back to the field by June Jones at SMU last year.
Gansz is a 1960 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he played center and linebacker.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior writer Ivan Maisel was used in this report.