John Madden dies: Hall of Fame coach, NFL icon passes away unexpectedly at age 85

NFL legend John Madden unexpectedly passed away Tuesday morning. The Hall of Fame coach, broadcaster and video game creator was 85 years old. 

Madden is one the most influential figures in NFL history. His highly successful coaching career with the Raiders earned him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Madden also enjoyed a highly-decorated 30-year broadcasting career that included 11 Super Bowls as a color analyst. He formed an iconic broadcasting partnership with Pat Summerall, as the two called eight Super Bowls together. Madden, who famously traveled to games in his “Madden Cruiser,”  was also the creator of the iconic video game that bears his name. 

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “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.”

While he could have been enshrined much earlier as a contributor, Madden insisted that if he ever received Hall of Fame induction, it would be for his work as an NFL coach. Madden got his wish nearly three decades after he coached his final game. Madden’s bust sits alongside other legendary coaches that includes contemporaries such as Chuck Noll, Tom Landry, Hank Stram, Paul Brown, Bud Grant and Don Shula. It also sits alongside the bust of Madden’s coaching idol, Vince Lombardi, who Madden coached against as an assistant on Oakland’s staff during Green Bay’s win in Super Bowl II, Lombardi’s final game on the sideline. 

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