Jack Pardee dies: Leaves NFL and college coaching legacy

Jack Pardee dies: An All-Pro NFL linebacker, Jack Pardee went on to coach football at the University of Houston. Pardee also coached the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins.

Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
Jack Pardee played three seasons at Texas A&M. He played in the NFL and went on to coach at the University of Houston and for the Washington Redskins.

Jack Pardee, one of Bear Bryant's "Junction Boys" at Texas A&M who went on to become an All-Pro linebacker and an NFL coach, died. He was 76.

The family has established a memorial scholarship fund in Pardee's name at the University of Houston, where Pardee coached from 1987-89.

''When you talk about the great offenses in the history of college football, coach Pardee's Run-and-Shoot teams from the late 1980s must be considered near the top of that list,'' Houston coach Tony Levine told the Associated Press.

''We continue to feel the impact from his innovative ideas and leadership of those teams in college football today, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and friends.''

Pardee played three seasons at Texas A&M and was the 14th pick in the 1957 NFL draft by Los Angeles. He played for the Rams from 1957-64, sat out a year to deal with melanoma, and played seven more seasons.

Pardee coached the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1977 and is credited with helping turn the franchise around from the doldrums of the late '60s and early '70s, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He compiled a 20-22 record as head coach of the Bears, improving each season, and won the final six games in '77 to reach the playoffs, the first time the team had been in the postseason since the 1963 championship season. But the Bears were ousted 37-7 by the Cowboys and 31/2 weeks later Pardee resigned, saying he had "mixed emotions." He rejected an offer from general manager Jim Finks to return to the Bears and was hired by the Redskins, for whom he had been an assistant coach and player.
 "Jack was a great guy," said former Bears wide receiver Brian Baschnagel, whom Pardee originally tried as a cornerback. "Very stern. Very quiet. But he was extremely fair. He spoke his mind. He was very direct."

He finished his career with the Redskins in 1973 and coached them from 1978-80.

"In his time both on the field and on the sideline, Jack Pardee will forever be a part of the Washington Redskins' legacy," owner Daniel Snyder said in a statement. "He will be remembered not just as a linebacker for the 1972 NFC Champions, nor as just the coach for our franchise. He will be remembered as someone whose spirit truly embodied the values that we associate with the burgundy and gold My thoughts - and the thoughts and well wishes of the entire Washington Redskins family - are with the Pardee family this evening."

Statement from Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman: "Not only did we lose a Texas A&M legend today, we lost a man who was a legend at every level of football -- from six-man football at Christoval, as a Junction Boy at Texas A&M, to the Over-The-Hill Gang with the Washington Redskins. Jack Pardee was a great Aggie and his legacy will live on forever."

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