Former NFL player and coach Jack Pardee has died at the age of 76.
According to the University of Houston, Pardee died on Monday, April 1, succumbing to gall bladder cancer. A Houston football scholarship has been founded in Pardee's name, and will be awarded yearly to a Houston football walk-on.
“When my father was diagnosed back around Thanksgiving, we were able to have many great conversations about the past and the future," said Ted Pardee, one of Jack's five children and a radio commentator for Houston football. "One conversation was around what his lasting legacy would be. He truly loved the time spent at the University of Houston and wanted to find a way to help a deserving, hardworking, dedicated athlete who might not have the means to pay for their own college tuition. He could have offered his name to a lot of different charities or scholarship funds, but this was what my dad wanted to do. I hope you will join our family in support of this worthy fund.”
Jack Pardee began his football career at Texas A&M, where he was one of the famed 'Junction Boys'. After college, Pardee went on to play linebacker with the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He then began a career coaching football for over 20 years. Pardee coached teams in the World Football League, U.S. Football League, Canadian Football League, and NFL, including the Houston Oilers. He also coached the University of Houston football team from 1987 to 1989.
“Today, we mourn the passing of a great man who dedicated his life to the game of football and was a true gentleman in every sense of the word,” said Mack Rhoades, vice president for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Houston. “It was not a coincidence that success followed Coach and his teams wherever he worked, and the University of Houston program was blessed to have him lead our football program during some of our most exciting times. I know I speak for all Houston fans and the entire department when I offer our sincere condolences to Phyllis, their children and grandchildren. He will truly be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.”