Former Bears coach Jack Pardee has been diagnosed with severe gall bladder cancer and has less than a year to live, according a report by the Chicago Tribune.
Pardee’s daughter, Anne, revealed details of the former skipper’s diagnosis to the newspaper.
Despite the grim news, Anne said Pardee, 77, was in good spirits and plans to move to a hospice in Denver where his wife, Phyllis, has been receiving care in the aftermath of a stroke.
“I appreciate (messages from well-wishers),” Jack Pardee told the Houston Chronicle Tuesday. “We’ve worked for everybody in Houston, from the Gamblers to the university to the Oilers. Everybody was always great down there, and I appreciate the support.”
An inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Pardee played 15 seasons in the NFL as a linebacker and was selected to the All-Pro team five times for his defensive prowess.
The 14th overall pick in the 1957 NFL draft, Pardee suited up for the Los Angeles Rams from 1957 to 1970; sitting out the 1965 season while battling melanoma.
Pardee finished up his playing career with the Redskins on two of coach George Allen’s playoff-bound squads.
HamptonRoads.com notes the ‘Skins 1971 team went 9-4-1 but lost to San Francisco in a division postseason game. In 1972, the Redskins went 11-3 and reached their first Super Bowl, losing to the undefeated Miami Dolphins 14-7.
After his retirement in 1973, Pardee immediately took on a head coaching job with the Florida Blazers of the WFL.
After coaching the Blazers for one year, he succeeded Abe Gibron as coach of the Chicago Bears. Under Pardee’s direction, the Bears finished 4-10 in his first season in 1975 and Jack went on to coach the team for two additional seasons.
He left the Bears to take over as coach of the Redskins, with whom he compiled a 24-24 record over three seasons. He was eventually fired and replaced by legendary coach Joe Gibbs.
When the USFL disbanded in 1987, Pardee became the coach at the University of Houston and brought along the fast-paced “Run-and-Shoot” offense that worked well with the Gamblers.
In 1990, he returned to the NFL with the Oilers, leading the team to the playoffs in his first four seasons before losing his job following a 1-9 start in 1994. His career NFL coaching record is 87-77.