Sad news to pass along, as NFL legend John Madden passed away unexpectedly this morning at the age of 85.
Madden is one of the most iconic NFL personalities of all time, evolving from Hall of Fame head coach to famed broadcaster. Madden’s NFL career started in 1958, when he had a brief offseason stint with the Eagles before injuring his knee. He then turned his focus to the sideline, serving as head coach at Allan Hancock and San Diego State. He got his first crack at an NFL coaching gig when he was hired as the Raiders linebackers coach in 1967, and he was promoted to head coach following John Rauch’s resignation in 1969.
Madden spent a decade in that role, helping guide the Raiders to eight postseason appearances. Oakland made it to four AFC Championship games between in 1970 and 1975, but the team finally broke through when they won Super Bowl XI in 1976. Madden announced his retirement only two seasons later, but despite his (relatively) short stint as an NFL head coach, he still managed to put together an illustrious resume. During his final season at the helm, he became the youngest coach to reach 100 career regular-season victories. He ranks second in NFL history in overall winning percentage (regular season and playoffs), and he never had a losing season during his 10 years in the role.
Following his coaching career, Madden transitioned to television, and he spent almost three decades serving as a color analyst for all four major TV networks. Madden was also known for lending his likeness and name to the Madden NFL video game series, which has generated billions dollars worth of sales since debuting in 1988.