Longtime NFL quarterback John Hadl, who played for his hometown Kansas Jayhawks before embarking on a professional career with six Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro nod, passed away Wednesday.  He turned 82

Chargers QB and University of Kansas legend John Hadl dies at 82 after six Pro Bowl selections as his alma mater remembers his ‘generational’ impact as athlete, coach and fundraiser

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Longtime NFL quarterback John Hadl, who played for his hometown Kansas Jayhawks before embarking on a professional career with six Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro nod, passed away Wednesday. He turned 82.

The university, where Hadl returned from his playing days as a coach and fundraiser, announced his death in a statement, citing his family. No reason was given.

“John Hadl had a generational impact on Kansas football,” said Jayhawks athletic director Travis Goff. “He was a once-in-a-lifetime Jayhawk student-athlete, a coach and mentor, a prolific fundraiser who developed deep relationships with countless, and the ultimate ambassador for KU. In short, our university and athletic program has been transformed by John and his legacy will forever be cemented. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with (wife) Diana and the Hadl family.”

Longtime Nfl Quarterback John Hadl, Who Played For His Hometown Kansas Jayhawks Before Embarking On A Professional Career With Six Pro Bowl Appearances And An All-Pro Nod, Passed Away Wednesday.  He Turned 82

Longtime NFL quarterback John Hadl, who played for his hometown Kansas Jayhawks before embarking on a professional career with six Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro nod, passed away Wednesday. He turned 82

A Framed Jersey Of Kansas Legend John Hadl On Display Before A Statue In His Likeness Is Unveiled During Halftime Of A Big 12 Football Game Between The Oklahoma State Cowboys And Kansas Jayhawks On October 3, 2020 At Memorial Stadium In Lawrence

A Framed Jersey Of Kansas Legend John Hadl On Display Before A Statue In His Likeness Is Unveiled During Halftime Of A Big 12 Football Game Between The Oklahoma State Cowboys And Kansas Jayhawks On October 3, 2020 At Memorial Stadium In Lawrence

A framed jersey of Kansas legend John Hadl on display before a statue in his likeness is unveiled during halftime of a Big 12 football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Kansas Jayhawks on October 3, 2020 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence

Statue Of Ku Legend John Hadl Is Unveiled During Halftime Of A Big 12 Football Game Between The Oklahoma State Cowboys And Kansas Jayhawks On October 3, 2020 At Memorial Stadium

Statue Of Ku Legend John Hadl Is Unveiled During Halftime Of A Big 12 Football Game Between The Oklahoma State Cowboys And Kansas Jayhawks On October 3, 2020 At Memorial Stadium

Statue of KU legend John Hadl is unveiled during halftime of a Big 12 football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Kansas Jayhawks on October 3, 2020 at Memorial Stadium

Hadl was a two-sport star at Lawrence High School, a short drive from the Kansas campus, but made a name for himself on the football field for the Jayhawks. He led the NCAA in punting as a sophomore, set a record for longest 94-yard punt that still stands, and held the record for longest interception return by a 98-year-old until 2007.

Hadl played both halfback and quarterback his last two seasons, helping Kansas go 14-5-2 over the span. The two-time All-American ended his career by leading the Jayhawks to their first bowl victory against Rice in the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl.

Hadl Was Selected 10Th Overall In The Nfl Draft By The Detroit Lions In 1962 And 24Th Overall By The San Diego Chargers In The Afl Draft, Where He Chose To Continue His Career

Hadl Was Selected 10Th Overall In The Nfl Draft By The Detroit Lions In 1962 And 24Th Overall By The San Diego Chargers In The Afl Draft, Where He Chose To Continue His Career

Hadl was selected 10th overall in the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions in 1962 and 24th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the AFL draft, where he chose to continue his career

“When I arrived,” said current Kansas coach Lance Leipold, “I immediately heard from people all over the state about John’s impact on this department, not just as a student-athlete and coach, but as someone who has spent nearly 40 years dedicated to his life at the University of Kansas. His desire to improve KU and make it as special as possible really resonated with me.”

Hadl was selected 10th overall in the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions in 1962 and 24th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the AFL draft, where he chose to continue his career. Hadl would spend 11 seasons with the Chargers, taking them to three AFL title games before merging with the NFL. He finished his career with the Packers, Rams and Oilers.

After retiring in 1977, Hadl returned to Kansas as an assistant, helping the Jayhawks to the 1981 Hall of Fame Bowl. He later coached for the USFL’s Rams, Broncos, and Los Angeles Express before returning to the United States in 1988 Kansas, where he spent the next 30 years as a prolific fundraiser for the Williams Education Fund.

Hadl’s No. 21 is one of three tracks eliminated by Kansas, along with Gale Sayers’ No. 48 and Ray Evans’ No. 42. In 2020, the school celebrated his legacy by unveiling a statue of Hadl outside the Anderson Family Football Complex.

“To be the head coach of this program,” said Leipold, “and to see his statue outside the Anderson Family Football Complex every day is a clear reminder of the passion and love John had for this program. Kelly and I extend our condolences to the Hadl family and their loved ones.”

San Diego Chargers Head Coach Charlie Waller Discusses Strategy With Quarterback John Hadl On The Sidelines During A 24-21 Victory Over The Denver Broncos On November 8, 1970 At San Diego Stadium In San Diego

San Diego Chargers Head Coach Charlie Waller Discusses Strategy With Quarterback John Hadl On The Sidelines During A 24-21 Victory Over The Denver Broncos On November 8, 1970 At San Diego Stadium In San Diego

San Diego Chargers head coach Charlie Waller discusses strategy with quarterback John Hadl on the sidelines during a 24-21 victory over the Denver Broncos on November 8, 1970 at San Diego Stadium in San Diego