We are so sad to hear that four-time AFL All-Star and two-time Pro Bowler John Hadl’s cause of death was related to an illness; the legend passed away Wednesday morning (November 31, 2022) at the age of 82.
May he now rest in peace; our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, fans, and all loved ones during this heartbreaking period.
The heartbreaking death news was confirmed by Hadl’s alma mater, the University of Kansas in a statement; the statement partly wrote, “John Hadl, a homegrown football legend at the University of Kansas who went on to become a professional football star, passed away on Wednesday morning. He was 82 years old.”
It came to add, “Hadl made a name for himself at Lawrence High School as an all-state halfback for the football team and as a centerfielder for the baseball team. To the delight of Lawrence residents, Hadl chose to play for KU.”
An active do-it-all skill in college, the star went on to become one of the AFL’s favored quarterbacks with the Chargers. Hadl played 11 seasons for San Diego before terms with the Rams, Packers, and Oilers to close out his remarkable career.
John, who was a standout quarterback on the San Diego Chargers ‘ 1963 AFL Championship team, helped the league in passing thrice in his career, which he concluded with 33,503 yards passing, 244 touchdown passes, 1,112 yards rushing, 16 rushing scores, and an 82–75–9 record as a starting QB. He was additionally the 1971 NFL Man of the Year.
“The league took the philosophy that we were going to have an offensive show,” he remembered in a 2006 interview with The Orlando Sentinel, continuing, “We were going to score as many points as we could and not emphasize defense so we can have as exciting a game as we could for the fans and for the TVs. That was our calling card.”
His well-known target was the future Hall of Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth, famous as Bambi for his elegant moves to elude defensive backs.
Beloved footballer, a native of Lawrence, Kansas, played for the Jayhawks as a quarterback, running back, defensive back, punter, as well as a returner. As a sophomore, Hadl guided the nation in punting (45.6 yards per punt) and set KU records with a 94-yard punt (still the most extended in school history) and a 98-yard interception return (which stood as the school best till 2007).
He went on to become the school’s first two-time All-American in 1960 and ’61 when his skills at halfback and quarterback were celebrated.
An Illness Became John Hadl’s Cause of Death
Although official sources have not disclosed the secret behind John Hadl’s cause of death at this time, some announced he lost his life due to an illness he was suffering from for years; according to unofficial sources he had many health problems recently.
Our team does not confirm any rumors about the news, though you can be sure that we are attempting our best to find related information about the tragedy and provide the latest updates as soon as possible; but do not forget that family privacy should be respected.
His career at Kansas would lead him to the College Hall of Fame and to being chosen №10 overall in the 1962 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions and in the third round of the 1962 AFL Draft by the Chargers. Hadl selected the Chargers and established himself to be a superb fit for Sid Gillman’s squad.
He was an AFL All-Star in 1964, ’65, ’68, and ’69 seasons before reaching his first Pro Bowl bid in 1972 with the Bolts, after the AFL-NFL merger.
Following the ’72 season, Hadl was sold to the Rams, where he was once again a Pro Bowler and gained first-team AP All-Pro honors.
He later was traded again, this time in a disreputable transaction in which Packers head coach Dan Devine sent five draft picks to the Rams to reach Hadl, who went 7–12 as a starter in Green Bay with nine touchdowns to 29 interceptions. The trade proved to be important, nevertheless, in the Rams building up a roster that earned splendid success throughout the 1970s.
Hadl finished his NFL playing career with the Oilers, especially as a backup though would go on to be an NFL assistant for the Rams and Broncos before two seasons as the head coach of the USFL’s Los Angeles Express.
Reactions to Death of John Hadl
Celebrities’ death news always breaks many hearts, but fans kindly remember memories, and their idols are alive in their hearts even after death.
We send our deepest sympathies to his loved ones on these tough days. You can also leave a condolence message below the comment box to honor him; Fans widely ask, “what happened to John ?,” So if you have any related information about his passing, please share it with us.
Hadl’s legacy was celebrated during the 2020 season with a statue unveiling outside of Anderson Family Football Complex. He is one of two Jayhawks to be commemorated.
Director of Athletics Travis Goff shared a statement, reacting to the tragedy, penning: John Hadl had a generational impact on Kansas Football, the University of Kansas, and the Lawrence community. He was a once-in-a-lifetime Jayhawk student-athlete, a coach and mentor, a prolific fundraiser who developed profound relationships with countless, and the ultimate ambassador for KU.
He added: In short, our University and athletic program have been transformed by John and his legacy will forever be cemented. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with Diana and the Hadl family. We will deeply miss John and his contagious smile but will proudly honor him and his unrivaled legacy as we move forward.
Head football coach Lance Leipold also wrote: Upon my arrival, I heard instantly from people across the state about John’s impact on this department, not just as a student-athlete and coach, but as someone who dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to the University of Kansas.
Adding: His desire to enhance KU and make it as special as possible truly resonated with me. To be the head coach of this program and see his statue every day outside Anderson Family Football Complex, is a firm reminder of the passion and love that John had for this program. Kelly and I send our condolences to the Hadl family and his loved ones.”