Former NFL quarterback and University of Kansas standout John Hadl has died. The Jayhawks athletics department confirmed the sad news on Wednesday. He was 82.
Hadl earned legendary status while playing college football at Kansas. He earned All-American honors in 1961 and 1962 and is No. 21 has been retired by the football program. During his time with the Jayhawks, Hadl served as a punter and played halfback and quarterback.
“John Hadl had a generational impact on Kansas Football, the University of Kansas and the Lawrence community. He was a once-in-a-lifetime Jayhawk student-athlete, a coach and mentor, a prolific fundraiser who developed profound relationships with countless, and the ultimate ambassador for KU,” Kansas athletic director Travis Goff said.
“In short, our University and athletic program has been transformed by John and his legacy will forever be cemented. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with Diana and the Hadl family. We will deeply miss John and his contagious smile but will proudly honor him and his unrivaled legacy as we move forward.”
After his time at Kansas, Hadl enjoyed a 17-year career at the professional level. He spent 11 seasons with the San Diego Chargers while also having stops with the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and Houston Oilers.
John Hadl’s Career in Professional Football
John Hadl has a laundry-list of accomplishments from his 17-year career at the professional ranks. He threw for over 33,000 yards and racked up 244 passing touchdowns during the course of his career.
In 1963, Hadl became an AFL champion after leading the Chargers to a 51-10 win over the Boston Patriots. He was named the NFL’s Man of the Year in 1971 after leading the league in passing yardage and touchdown throws.
Hadl earned four AFL All-Star honors and was named an NFL Pro Bowl selection twice. He is a member of the Los Angeles Chargers Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.