Jack Pardee, a coach for the Washington Redskins in the late 1970s and player with the team in the early 1970s, died Monday, April 1 after a bout with gallbladder cancer. He was 76 years old.
An avid football coach, Pardee led teams in the NFL, USFL, WFL as well as the Canadian Football League from the 1970s until his retirement form professional football in 1994.
For Redskins fans old enough to remember, myself being one of them, the Redskins were proud of the coach in the late '70s—prompting t-shirts and bumper stickers to be sold with a play on his name, "The Pardee Has Just Begun."
In his three seasons as Redskins coach (1978-1980), Pardee compiled a 24-24 record and the team only broke .500 in 1979. Washington finished third in the NFC East in each of the seasons under his reign as head coach.
Late Monday, Redskins owner Dan Snyder released a statement on behalf of the team. From Redskins.com:
"In his time both on the field and on the sideline, Jack Pardee will forever be a part of the Washington Redskins' legacy. 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."
Pardee's start in football began in high school in Texas. He attended and played for Texas A&M University and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
When Pardee joined the Redskins as head coach in 1978, he inherited a team of starters including quarterback Joe Theismann, fullback John Riggins, running back Mike Thomas and kicker Mark Mosley.