Hall of Fame coach and NFL broadcaster John Madden has deep roots in the California Community Colleges. A football star in high school, Madden played a couple seasons at the College of San Mateo and launched his coaching career at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. He passed away on December 28, 2021 at 85.
Community colleges, Madden said, “serve a great purpose and it’s a cheap way to get an education where it kind of puts everyone on the same playing field. Without them there'd really be a lot of us that didn't get where we eventually got. The job that (community colleges) do is really, really immense.”
Madden, who earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, said he became interested in coaching after getting hurt his rookie year with the Philadelphia Eagles. While rehabbing from his knee injury, Madden would watch films with quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, who analyzed and explained what was happening. “I ended up with a degree in teaching, and my love for football meshed with teaching,” he said.
Football and teaching led Madden to an assistant coaching position at Allan Hancock College in 1960 and a head coaching position at Hancock two years later. Following the 1963 season, he was hired as a defensive assistant coach at San Diego State, leaving for the Oakland Raiders as linebackers coach in 1967. In 1969, Madden was named head coach at the age of 32. During his 10 years at the helm of the Raiders, Madden compiled a record of 103 wins, 32 losses, and 7 ties. The pinnacle came when Madden and the Raiders capped the 1976 season with a 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.His broadcasting career has been just as successful. Madden’s lively and flamboyant delivery has won him critical acclaim and 14 Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst.