Former NFL, Houston Coach Jack Pardee Dies of Cancer at 76

Former National Football League coach Jack Pardee, who also orchestrated the so-called Run and Shoot offense at the University of Houston that helped Andre Ware win the Heisman Trophy, has died of gall bladder cancer. He was 76.

Pardee was an All-American linebacker at Texas A&M University and a member of the so-called Junction Boys, one of 35 players to return to the football program after the 10-day training camp run by coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Pardee became an NFL head coach at age 39, guiding the Chicago Bears from 1975-77 and the Washington Redskins from 1978-80. As a collegiate coach at Houston from 1987-89, Pardee was known for his high-scoring offenses.

The Cougars averaged 624.9 yards of offense in 1989 as Ware, the team’s quarterback, became the only player in school history to win the Heisman Trophy. In a 95-21 rout of Southern Methodist University on Oct. 21, 1989, Houston became the first team in National Collegiate Athletic Association history to total more than 1,000 yards of offense in a game.

“When you talk about the great offenses in the history of college football, Coach Pardee’s Run-and-Shoot teams from the late 1980s must be considered near the top of that list,” Houston football coach Tony Levine said in a statement. “We continue to feel the impact from his innovative ideas and leadership of those teams in college football today.”

Pardee, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, coached the NFL’s Houston Oilers from 1990-94 and led the franchise to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. He had an overall 87-77 record as an NFL coach.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Pardee’s family has established a scholarship fund at the University of Houston in his memory that will be presented annually to a walk-on from the school’s football program.

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