John Madden was one of the most recognizable NFL faces.

He went from Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Oakland Raiders to the voice of the league from behind the mic to the face of one of the most successful video game franchises.

Madden was larger than life, and his revolutionary career in all aspects of the game made him as recognizable as any player out on the field.

Madden died Thursday at the age of 85.

Here’s what you need to know about Madden.



Madden briefly played in the NFL

John Madden, head coach of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after the Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI on January 9, 1977 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Raiders won the Super Bowl 32-14. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Madden in the 21st round of the 195draft, and he only made it to training camp. He would suffer a knee injury that would derail his professional playing career.

Madden coached in college before the Raiders

Madden was an assistant and the head coach of Allan Hancock — a community college in California — from 1960 to 1063. He was later a defensive coordinator from 1964 to 1966 with San Diego State.

Time with the Raiders

Head Coach John Madden, of the Oakland Raiders, on the sidelines during a game on November 2, 1969 against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Diamond Images/Getty Images)

Madden became a linebackers coach for the Raiders in 1967. He helped the team reach Super Bowl II, and after John Rauch went to the Buffalo Bills, Madden was named the head coach of the Raiders before the start of the 1969 season.

Winning with Oakland

Madden coached in the NFL from 1969 to 1978 — all with the Raiders. He was 103-32-7 as head coach and led the 13-1 Raiders to a Super Bowl over the Minnesota Vikings in 1976. He was also the youngest coach to reach 100 regular-season victories when he did it at 42. He never had a losing season and still has the most wins among all Raiders coaches.


He retired from coaching over an ulcer issue and general burnout from the job.

Turning to TV

FILE - Former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden speaks about former quarterback Ken Stabler, pictured at rear, at a ceremony honoring Stabler during halftime of an NFL football game between the Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

He would then join the other side of the sport — in the commentating booth. First for CBS, then FOX and later ABC and NBC. During his commentating career from 1979 to 2008, he was one of the biggest broadcasters in sports. He was known for his quick wit and the way he was able to dissect plays by adding where he felt necessary his patented "BOOM!"

He also helped turn Thanksgiving Day football into must-see TV. He would award the best players of the game a turkey leg, a tradition that still lives on during the various broadcasts presently.

"Madden NFL"

In 1988, he lent his name and persona to Electronic Arts’ to create the "Madden NFL" video game. The popular game went from blips on the screen for systems like Super Nintendo and turned into the behemoth that it is today across the major consoles with eSports leagues developed around the game.

Madden’s final game

CBS NFL commentator Pat Summerall (L) and NFL analyst John Madden (R) on the air prior during an NFL Football game circa 1986.  (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Madden called his final game in the booth in 2009 with Al Michaels for Super Bowl XLIII. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals.


Madden Cruiser

Madden was most notably averse to flying in a plane. He had lost people close to hm in the tragic Cal Poly football team plane crash. He would travel around the country in a giant coach bus.


Madden was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.