Earlier today, the NFL announced that legendary coach and sportscaster John Madden had passed away unexpectedly at the age of 85 years old. Madden resided in his home in Pleasanton, California with his wife of over 60 years, Virginia.
The organization released a statement on the tragic death, though little is known about the cause just yet.
“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.”
The statement continued, “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.”
The NFL will release memorial service information when it becomes available.
John Madden Leaves Behind a Legacy in the NFL
John Madden’s career with the NFL began in 1967 as the Oakland Raider’s linebackers coach. Just two seasons later, he rose through the ranks to become the team’s head coach at just 32 years old. This made Madden the youngest head coach in the American Football League at the time.
And this was only the start of his rockstar legacy. That same year, Madden earned the American Football League Coach of the Year honors. With John Madden at the helm of the team, the Raiders made eight playoff appearances and helped the team take home seven Western Division titles. More times than not, the Raiders walked away with double-digit victories by the end of the season.
Of course, one of the most remarkable games that John Madden led his team through was during Super Bowl XI in 1976 against the Minnesota Vikings. The Raiders won 32-14. That following season, Madden would further solidify his team’s outstanding record by adding a 17-game winning streak, just one game short of the league record at the time.
John Madden once commented on his work as an NFL head coach, noting that it wasn’t really “work” at all.
“Coaching isn’t work. It’s more than a job. It’s a way of life…no one should go into coaching unless he couldn’t live without it…Football is what I am,” he said. “I didn’t go into it to make a living or because I enjoyed it. There is much more to it than just enjoying it. I am totally consumed by football, totally involved. I’m not into gardening…or any other hobbies. I don’t fish or hunt. I’m in football.”
Outsider extends its condolences to the surviving members of Madden’s family and the lives he has touched through his football career.