Born on the 10th of April 1936 in Austin, Minnesota, John Madden moved to Daly City, California with his family at an early age. He was always an avid athlete and sports enthusiast as a child, playing several sports throughout high school. At California Polytechnic College, Madden played on both the offensive and defensive lines for its football team and was a catcher for the school's baseball team.
In terms of schooling, Madden received his Bachelor of Science diploma in 1959 and followed it up with a Master of Arts degree in 1961, both from California Polytechnic. It was his athletics, however, that showed the most promise career-wise. Madden entered the NFL draft in 1958 and was picked 21st overall by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Unfortunately, the dream of performing on the professional level came crumbling down when he suffered a career-ending knee injury. Months of rehabilitation confirmed Madden's inability to play but, though his hopes were shattered, he immediately opened his mind to other job opportunities in football. In 1960, Madden began coaching at Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, California.
After four years, he had learned the basic leadership and motivational tactics necessary to be a football coach. He went from high school to university coach, landing the defensive coordinator job at San Diego State in 1964. In the two seasons Madden stayed with San Diego State University, the Aztecs were 26-4 and ranked first among the small colleges in the country.
Despite this success, Madden could not pass up the next job offer that came his way. In 1967, he took the Oakland Raiders of the American Football Conference up on their offer to become linebacker coach. For another two seasons, he excelled in the role. In fact, Madden impressed the Raiders' top executives so much that when it came time to look for a new head coach in 1969, they did not hesitate to hire him.
With the new job, Madden became...
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