John Madden, the legendary football coach and broadcaster who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, died on Tuesday morning. The news of Madden’s passing came in a statement from the NFL. He was 85 years old.
“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said of Madden’s passing. “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,” Goodell continued. “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 NFL what it is today.”
After injuries prevented Madden from playing in the NFL, the Minnesota native turned to coaching, where he established himself as one of the greatest in league history. Madden was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1969-78 and recorded a 103-32-7 record. Under his guidance, the Raiders never finished lower than second in their division and never had a sub-.500 record, making the playoffs eight times in his 10-year tenure. In 1976, Madden and the Raiders lifted the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champions for the only time in his coaching career.
Immediately after retiring in Jan. 1979, Madden made his way into the broadcasting booth, where he became a ubiquitous presence in the biggest games on the NFL’s calendar. Sitting alongside revered play-by-play men like Pat Summerall, Al Michaels, and numerous others, Madden carved out a role as one of the best to ever sit in the booth, as his unique personality and knowledge and love of football were on display whenever he spoke on a broadcast. He announced his retirement from calling games in April of 2009.
Off the field, Madden appeared in numerous commercials and movies, while the most successful football video game series in the world, EA Sports’ Madden NFL, bears his name.