NEW YORK (WJW)– Football icon John Madden died unexpectedly on Tuesday at the age of 85, the NFL announced.
Madden worked his way up the Raiders organization before serving as the head coach from 1969 to 1978 with a Super Bowl win in 1976. He went on to be a commentator for CBS, FOX, ABC and NBC, but younger generations may associate his name mostly with the “Madden” video games.
“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.”
“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.”
During his first season as head coach, the 32-year-old won AFL Coach of the Year honors and the AFL Western Division title with a record of 12-1-1. He never had a losing season.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Coach Madden. Few, if any, have had as great an impact on the sport of professional football on so many different levels as Coach Madden. He was first and foremost a coach. He was a coach on the field, a coach in the broadcast booth and a coach in life,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter.
Others in the sports world quickly paid their respects to the legend.