Here's What Bill Belichick Said About The Death Of John Madden

By Jason Hall

December 29, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden's death "a huge loss for the NFL and professional football," while addressing reporters via Zoom on Wednesday (December 29).

“Our condolences to the Madden family. It’s a huge loss for the NFL and professional football,” Belichick said via CBS Boston. “John was just a tremendous person to be around. I think we all set out to try to have a good professional career, and John had about five of them.”

Belichick praised Madden for his impact on the game of football through coaching, as well as his fight for equality and player safety, his legendary broadcast career and his popular video game series reaching multiple generations.

“He set the standard for coaching in his era with the best record, the best team. The Raiders had a style of play that was very captivating and certainly did a lot for the league and the competitiveness of the league,” Belichick said. “He was a great champion for minorities and minority scouting and some of the great Raiders players from the smaller Black colleges that they brought into the organization. He moved to broadcasting and certainly increased the popularity of the game singlehandedly quite a bit.”

The NFL confirmed Madden's death in an official statement, noting that the legendary coach, commentator and popular video game namesake had died unexpectedly Tuesday morning.

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

The NFL confirmed details about a memorial service will be released when available.

Madden led the then-Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl XI victory over the Minnesota Vikings in 1977 and retired in 1978 with a 103-32-7 career coaching record and a 76.3% winning percentage, the highest in NFL history.

The Minnesota native went on to a legendary broadcasting career as the first NFL color analyst to contribute to all four major networks: CBS (1979-93), FOX (1994-2001), ABC (2002-05) and NBC (2006-08), before retiring ahead of the 2008 season.

Madden is also the namesake of EA Sports' popular Madden NFL Football video game franchise, initially lending his voice and likeness to the series in 1988.

Madden was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career in 2006.

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