John Madden has died. Tuesday afternoon, the National Football League announced the passing of the iconic Hall of Fame football coach in a statement offered by current commissioner Roger Goodell. Madden is best known for his 10-year stint as the head coach of the then-Oakland Raiders, a run that included one championship after winning Super Bowl XI. Madden was 85.
After retiring from coaching, Madden went on the become one of the most-known color commentators in the history of the sport, a career that would last for nearly 30 years between all four broadcast networks. He also lent his name to EA Sports' wildly popular Madden football franchise, one that changed the face of sports gaming entirely.
"On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families," Goodell said in his statement. "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 added, "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."
Born in Austin, Minnesota in 1936, the Madden family relocated to California during the Hall of Famer's youth. He went on to attend and play football at four different universities: Oregon, Cal Poly, Grays Harbor College, and the College of San Mateo. After his collegiate career, Madden was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958, but an off-season injury forced early retirement.
Two years later, the player-turned-coach landed his first gig at Allan Hancock Community College, before coming the outfit's head coach in 1962. That ultimately led to his hiring at San Diego State in 1964 before getting on with the Raiders in 1967. He served as the Raiders' linebackers coach for two years before getting the promotion to his Hall of Fame position.