John Madden, Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster, dies at 85

John Madden
Posted at 4:25 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 22:38:28-05

The NFL says Hall of Fame coach turned broadcaster John Madden has died at age 85.

Madden's exuberant calls combined with simple explanations provided a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for three decades.

The league says he died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning and did not provide a cause.

Coaching the renegade Oakland Raiders, Madden compiled a stellar 103-32-7 regular-season record and led his team to victory in the Super Bowl after the 1976 season.

He became an even more impactful figure after he stopped coaching at age 42, entertaining millions who tuned in to NFL football.

He also was the name behind the hugely popular sports video game, “Madden NFL Football.”

Starting out, Madden played football at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1957 and 1958 and was an All-Conference lineman. He also played baseball there in 1958, according to the university.

He graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1959 and earned a Master of Arts degree in 1961.

Before going on to coach the Raiders, Madden coached at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria from 1960 to 1963 and was defensive coordinator at San Diego State from 1964 to 1966.

He was inducted into the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987 and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree during the university's virtual commencement ceremony this past June.

Allan Hancock College officials released the following statement Tuesday after the announcement of Madden's passing:

John Madden will be remembered as a football icon. He shared his love of the sport with his players as a coach and with millions of Americans as a celebrated broadcaster.  

Allan Hancock College is proud to be a part of Madden’s career and football legacy. Madden was an assistant coach at Hancock during the 1960 football season. During that season, Hancock football had a perfect season and won the state title.  

“Coach Madden was a very special part of Hancock football history which players and coaches remember fondly,” said Hancock Athletic Director Kim Ensing. “Our hearts are heavy, and we express our sincere condolences to his family.”  

John Madden was a vocal advocate for the transformative power of college athletics and community colleges. Hancock is thankful for the time he spent at the college as a coach and for the lives of the student-athletes he touched.