Buddy Ryan Dies At 82; Longtime NFL Coach Remembered For Defensive Greatness


June 28, 2016

Buddy Ryan, one of the best defensive minds in football history, died Tuesday morning. He was 82.

The news of the longtime coach’s death was confirmed by agent James Solano, per ESPN.com.

Ryan made a number of stops across the NFL during a 35-year coaching career, most notably serving stints as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. He also won the Super Bowl twice, first as the defensive line coach of the 1968 New York Jets and then again as the defensive coordinator for 1985 Chicago Bears, a defense frequently mentioned among the best of all time.

Ryan also leaves behind a pretty impressive coaching legacy with his two sons — Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Bills assistant head coach Rob Ryan. The twin brothers admitted last month in an interview with TheMMQB.com that their father was in rough shape.

MMQB: What does your dad think about the two of you coaching together?
Rob: He’s struggling (health-wise). That’s another reason.
Rex: … we’re going for broke, man.
Rob: Because, who knows? He’s not going to be able to watch us coach for much longer, I don’t think. But hopefully he can see this one, because we have got big plans. Bring (New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick) on. We got him.

Buddy Ryan’s health took an obvious turn for the worst in recent years, as he battled cancer and a recent stroke in his final years. Despite that, he still was able to attend a Bills game early in the 2015 season.

Thumbnail photo via William Perlman/The Star-Ledger via USA TODAY Sports Images

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