Jim Lynch, Kansas City Chiefs Legendary Linebacker, Dead at 76

by Patrick Norton

Jim Lynch spent 11 seasons in the NFL – playing every year with the Kansas City Chiefs. Drafted in the second round of the 1967 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, Lynch made his presence felt to opposing offenses. The linebacker’s alma mater announced his passing on Thursday night.

The post includes a quote from former Irish head coach Ara Parseghian calling him, “All-American in every sense.” Lynch won college football’s Maxwell Award in 1966 as the nation’s best player. In the pre-BCS era of the game, the Fighting Irish claimed the 1966 national championship. Lynch collected 214 tackles between 1965 and ’66, leading the team in the category. The College Football Hall of Fame enshrined the linebacker in 1992.

While never necessarily the best player on his team in the NFL, Lynch started every single game following his rookie season until his retirement before the conclusion of 1977. If you look up the definition of “stalwart” in the dictionary, it’s a picture of Jim Lynch. Drafted a season after the AFL-NFL merger, Lynch helped Kansas City reach the pinnacle of the sport with a Super Bowl IV victory.

In his 11 seasons as a pro, the linebacker totaled 17 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries and 18 sacks. While often overshadowed by his NFL Hall of Fame teammates, Lynch’s consistent presence on a vaunted defense earned him a spot in the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame in 1990.

Following Notre Dame’s announcement, Lynch’s family did not provide a cause of death.

Jim Lynch Makes Second Recent Tragic Passing From Notre Dame

Paul Duncan – former Denver Broncos and Notre Dame offensive lineman – died tragically on July 16. The 35-year-old went out for a jog in his neighborhood before suffering cardiac arrest. Doctors pronounced Duncan “brain dead” on July 15 before his passing the following day. Considered “the epitome of a Notre Dame man”, for his ability to party off campus after a victory in South Bend, yet still arrive early for Sunday morning mass, Duncan’s teammates remember the lineman as a source of joy.

Duncan’s family plans to allow for a proper medical examination to find the root source of the passing. Following the proper study, the family intends to donate Duncan’s organs for people in need and for medical research.

Duncan’s death last weekend and Lynch’s unfortunate passing caps an unbelievably tragic week in South Bend, Indiana and in the football world.