John Madden Dead: NFL Coach and Broadcaster Was 85

John Madden, the legendary football coach and broadcaster, died on Tuesday morning. He was 85.

The National Football League announced his death on Tuesday afternoon in a press release, writing that Madden died unexpectedly. A cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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 was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders for 10 seasons, winning Super Bowl XI in 1976, and a mainstay of football coverage on television.

The burly, garrulous coach became the personification of football in the 1970s with his gridiron antics, and he shaped the game from the broadcast booth for another 30 years after retiring from the coaching in 1979.

Madden began his work in TV for CBS Sports the same year he retired. In 1981, he teamed with Pat Summerall for NFL coverage on CBS. In 1994, after Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Broadcasting Co. had snagged the league’s AFC rights package away from CBS, Madden and Summerall moved to Fox as well. Madden also served as analyst and color commentator for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” from 2006 to 2008.

In all, he covered 11 Super Bowls across four networks during his 1979-2009 run as a broadcaster and collected 15 Emmy Awards.

Madden was also a popular TV pitchman in his heyday, including a long association with Miller Lite with commercials that spoofed his reputation for having a hot temper.

More to come