Chuck Muncie, a former running back for the NFL, has died of a heart attack. He was 60 years old.
Muncie got his start in the mid-’70s as the third-overall pick for the Saints; he stayed with them for four years, but was ultimately unhappy with the team and moved on to the Chargers in 1980. His career seemed promising as he helped lead the Chargers’ game with 19 touchdowns in 1981. But just three years later, he tested positive for cocaine and was suspended.
Muncie eventually sought counseling for his drug abuse and began helping others, saying, “I’m a very selfish person, and I like to feel good. One way I could make myself feel good was by helping other people. I learned, over a period of time, that was something that worked for me.”
He tried to make a career comeback with the Vikings in 1985, but as it turned out, the drugs played a bigger role in his life than he’d let on. In 1989, he was arrested for selling cocaine. He eventually turned things around, however, and began working with convicts and drug addicts to help them change for the better. One of his biggest projects was helping to provide ex-prisoners with tattoo removals in order to help them secure jobs on the outside.
His friends and teammates remember him as a man who would drop what he was doing to help others, and a former team doctor once said he did what he did because he genuinely wanted to make a difference.
“Whenever we call, he makes himself available,” Bill Coysh said. “That’s what’s incredible about him. This is not a paid position. He does it because that’s how he is.”