Cal Poly alumnus John Madden touched down into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 5 in a ceremony that took place in Canton, Ohio. The legendary coach actually got on a plane for the first time since 1979. His fear of flying is thought to have stemmed from an October 1960 plane crash that killed members of the Cal Poly football team.
Madden made a name for himself as a football coach and one of the most beloved television commentators in football history.
Madden attended Cal Poly from 1956 to 1959 and graduated with a degree in physical education. While working on his master’s in both educational development and physical education at Cal Poly, he was an assistant coach at Allan Hancock Junior College.
In 1957, Madden played football for the Mustangs and in 1958, Madden played catcher for Cal Poly’s baseball team as well.
Madden was drafted by the Eagles in 1960, but would never play a down due to injuries.
Instead, Madden made a name for himself as a football coach and one of the most beloved television commentators in football history.
Madden’s coaching career was surrounded by some of the most memorable plays in football history, including the “Immaculate Reception” and the “Holy Roller.”
The Raiders were 103-32-7 during Madden’s tenure as head coach. He also captured a title in Super Bowl XI in 1976, a 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
In addition, Madden received six Emmys for sports broadcasting.
Any football fan who didn’t care for video games in the 1980s, took them up with the creation of John Madden Football for Nintendo in 1990. The franchise is still one of the best-selling video games of all time.
Let’s not forget the many commercials he has been a part of; like, Miller Lite and Ace hardware. Madden’s iconic status has even led to a MadTV skit.
Madden was honored along with Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Rayfield Wright, Harry Carson and the late Reggie White.
Al Davis, the Raiders managing general partner, inducted Madden.
Long before his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Madden became a member of the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987.
Cal Poly football coach, Rich Ellerson said, “We’re proud of our relationship with him and he’s always been concerned about what’s going on at Cal Poly and that’s important to us.”