Former Player, Head Coach Jack Pardee Battling Cancer

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The NFL world has been struck another blow Chris Duncan of the Associated Press reports that former All-Pro Linebacker and Head Coach Jack Pardee has been given six to nine months to live after being diagnosed with gall bladder cancer.

According to his daughter Anne, he remains in good spirits despite the news. Pardee will be moved to a hospice facility in Denver to be with his wife Phyllis, who is already receiving care after a stroke.

Pardee was part of the infamous “Junction Boys”, the 1954 Texas A&M football camp held by the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. Jack Pardee was inducted into the College Hall of Fame as well as playing 15 NFL seasons at linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins.  He sat out the 1965 season while he battled melanoma.

He got his first coaching gig in the World Football League in 1974 with the Washington Ambassadors. He also was the head coach for the Chicago Bears from 1975-1977, leading the Bears to their first playoff appearance in 14 seasons before moving on to coach the Washington Redskins from 1978-1980. After being let go following a 6-10 season he became the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers in 1981.

Pardee would resume being a head coach in the USFL with the Houston Gamblers from 1984-1985. The USFL disbanded and there was no season in 1986 and would then move to college to become the head coach of the University of Houston. Pardee produced the first African-American Quarterback Heisman Trophy winner in Andre Ware.

In 1990, Pardee would bring his Run N’ Shoot offense to the NFL with the Houston Oilers for the next five years, hooking up with another African-American quarterback Warren Moon, who would have his best years in years under Pardee en route to becoming the first African-American Quarterback in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Pardee has been married to his wife Phyllis for 50 years, has five children and twelve grandchildren.

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