Unless something unthinkable happens at EA Sports, John Madden will forever be synonymous with the very popular NFL video game series which has carried his name since 1988 – Madden.
He might have gained wide-range recognition for his involvement with the video game; however, it was his exploits as a coach that put him in a position to endorse it. Madden was at the time of his appointment the youngest head coach in the NFL. He went on to win the Super Bowl, among other achievements that have earned him a spot at the Pro-Football Hall of Fame.
John Madden Biography
John Madden was born to Mary Margaret (nee Flaherty) and Earl Russell Madden on the 10th of April 1936 in Austin, Minnesota. He was however raised in Daly City, a small town south of San Francisco, California. His father worked as an auto mechanic while his mother was a homemaker.
Madden attended the Catholic parochial school of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and then Jefferson High School, where he was a star football player. He graduated in 1954 and went on to attend the college of San Mateo where he spent a year before getting a football scholarship to attend the University of Oregon. Madden’s football career at Oregon was however cut short by a knee injury which required him to get a surgery. He ended up losing his scholarship and returning to San Mateo in 1955. The next year, he moved to Grays Harbor College but immediately transferred to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where he completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Masters in the same discipline.
After completing his education, John Madden was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1958 NFL Draft with the 244th overall pick. Unfortunately, Madden never got to play a game of professional football as he suffered another knee injury in preseason that pushed him into retirement. But then, it became an opportunity for him to merge his love for football and teaching together, thus he became a coach; taking up the role of assistant coach at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria in 1960. Two years later, he was promoted to the position of head coach. This didn’t stop him from vacating the position after one year to take the role of defensive assistant coach at San Diego State University.
Madden spent three years in San Diego before moving up the ladder again. This time, he joined the Oakland Raiders of NFL as a linebackers coach. He was instrumental in the team reaching Super Bowl II that season so when head coach John Rauch left his position in 1969, the Raiders appointed him to that position and he went on to become the best coach in the history of the franchise, arguably.
John Madden never had a losing season as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. He was the youngest coach to achieve 100 career regular-season victories, a feat he achieved in just 10 full seasons. John won Super Bowl XI in 1977 before retiring in 1978 to pursue a career in the media. This has seen him win 16 Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst, the 1984 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association of the Year Award, and the 2002 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, among many others.
His Net Worth
It is believed that John Madden has a net worth of $200 million. The Super Bowl-winning coach made a good portion of his wealth from his career as a coach and a sportscaster. However, a majority of his riches came from his association with EA Sports, the company that makes the Madden NFL video game.
Since 1988, Madden has been lending his voice, personality, and name to the video game series that has sold more than 43 million copies. It is not clear what EA Sports paid him initially but around 2005, the company reportedly paid him $150 million in order to use his likeness and name in perpetuity. Madden has other lucrative endorsement deals that have afforded him a wealthy lifestyle.
John Madden’s Family Life
On the 26th of December, 1959, John Madden married his wife, Virginia Fields. Madden was said to have met her at a bar in Pismo Beach while he was a student at Cal Poly. At that time, Fields was a school teacher who was working on her own Master’s degree.
The pair went on to have two sons (Joseph and Michael) who both played college football. Joe attended and played for Brown University while Mike attended and played as a wide receiver for Harvard University.