Hall of Fame NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden dies at age 85

Former NFL broadcaster, and Hall of Fame coach John Madden has died at age 85. Madden passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, according to the league’s announcement.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said of Madden’s death: “On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families. 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. 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.”

Madden’s exuberant personality at both the NFL sidelines and in the broadcasting booth made him a legendary figure in the sport.  Madden never got the chance to play in the National Football League because of injuries, but in 1969 at age 32, he became the league’s youngest (at the time) to be hired as a head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Madden retired in 1979 after coaching the Oakland Raiders for 10 years.  During his 10 seasons coaching the Raiders, Madden’s teams never had a losing record and he led Oakland to the playoffs eight times. In January 1977, the Raiders won Super Bowl XI, beating the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 under Madden’s guidance.

Madden found his true calling a few years later as a color analyst with CBS. He went on to work for the other three major networks, winning 16 Emmys altogether, before retiring after 30 years in the broadcast booth. His name became perhaps most famous in the video game industry with the ‘Madden NFL’ series, for which he lent his voice.  The Madden NFL series has sold more than 250 million copies worldwide, earning over $4 billion. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2006.

Madden is survived by his wife Virginia and two sons, Joseph and Michael.

Editorial credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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