John Madden, the Super Bowl winning NFL coach (who never had a losing season), the 12-time Emmy Award winner for sports broadcasting, and the namesake for one of the all-time best-selling video games died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 85. No cause of death was given.
John Madden was an all-conference college football (offensive tackle) and baseball (catcher) player. Although he suffered a knee injury during his senior year, John Madden was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958. A second knee injury during training camp ended his pro career before he ever played a game. From 1960 – 1966, Madden excelled as a college football coach which brought him to the attention of Al Davis, the owner of the Oakland Raiders. Davis hired Madden as a Linebacker Coach in 1967. In 1969, John Madden was named the Head Coach of the Raiders (making him the youngest Head Coach in the NFL). Mr. Madden served as the Raiders Head Coach for ten years, winning one Super Bowl, never finishing below 2nd place in their division and never having a losing season.
After retiring as Head Coach of the Raiders, John Madden turned to television where he quickly became one of the most popular and respected sports broadcasters of all time. John Madden’s popularity was so great he was sought after for commercials as well as television & movie appearances and the ever-popular Madden video game from EA Sports.
Watching John Madden’s Raiders was always fun, but watching a John Madden sports broadcast was even better. John Madden knew the game and made his analysis fun. Mr. Madden came off like the guy you’d like to hang out with at the family bar-b-que. You knew he’d have great stories to share, and would enjoy the food, talk and fellowship.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to John Madden’s family, friends and fans.