NFL Hall of Fame coach John Madden unexpectedly died at the age of 85. His cause of death has not been revealed.
The passing of the Super Bowl winning coach, legendary sportscaster, and namesake of the “Madden NFL” video game franchise was announced by the NFL on Tuesday night.
“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a tweet. “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.”
Madden was a collegiate athlete at Cal Poly, who played on both the offensive and defensive lines prior to being drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles, but a knee injury ended his potential professional career.
He began his coaching career at a junior college, and moved up to become the defensive coordinator at San Diego State. He headed to the AFL as a linebacker coach for the Raiders in 1967, helping the team reach the Super Bowl in his first year.
He became head coach in 1968, where he would spend the next ten years leading Oakland to six division titles and a Super Bowl win over the Minnesota Vikings in 1976. He retired at the age of 42 with a 103-32-7 record, and has the most wins of any Raiders coach in history.
Madden went on to work as an NFL broadcaster from 1979 to 2008, doing years-long stints at every major network and charming fans with his colorful commentary and patented sound effects like “Boom” and “Doink.”
He became the namesake of the hyper-realistic video game, Madden NFL, released by EA Sports in 1993. The game has sold more than 250 units and has been released annually for the last 28 years.
The sports world is devastated by Madden’s passing. “When you think NFL football, you think John Madden,” wrote former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman. “RIP to a Legend.”
“We lost a larger than life legend in John Madden. My career was narrated by “Coach”, one of the best in the game,” tweeted retired Packers QB Brett Favre. “I’ll always remember our pre-game mtgs, when we laughed & talked about anything but football. I’ll miss my dear friend.”
“R.I.P. to John Madden,” posted former Seahawks star Richard Sherman. “It was one of my greatest honors to grace the cover of your video game. Thank you for the years of joy and motivation!”
“John Madden was a treasure,” said former QB Troy Aikman. “He was a gift. And he was an incredible friend. RIP John.”
The NFL is saddened to share the passing of the legendary John Madden. He was 85. pic.twitter.com/MxLFYLfY8k
— NFL (@NFL) December 29, 2021