Mike McCormack, one of three former Kansas football players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died on Friday. He was 83.
An offensive lineman, McCormack lettered for the Jayhawks from 1948-50, earning all-Big Seven honors in 1950.
He went on to a superb 12-year professional career with the Cleveland Browns, with six Pro Bowl selections. At McCormack’s Hall of Fame induction in 1984, legendary Browns coach Paul Brown once called McCormack the “finest offensive lineman I ever coached.”
McCormack helped the Browns win NFL championships in 1954 and 1955 and later opened holes for famed running back Jim Brown.
After his playing career, McCormack remained in football as the head coach of the Eagles (1973-75), Baltimore Colts (1980-81) and Seahawks (1982) and served as Seattle’s president and general manager until 1988.
McCormack was fired in 1989, but that paved the way for him to help create the Carolina Panthers organization. He became a consultant for Jerry Richardson, whose ownership group landed the expansion team for the 1996 season. McCormack served as the Panthers’ first team president and general manager until 1997.
A Chicago native, McCormack was added to the Kansas Football Ring of Honor in 2008. He joins Gale Sayers and John Riggins as former Jayhawks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
McCormack is the second former Kansas player who was an NFL executive to die during this season. Last month, Bud Adams, a 1942 letterwinner and co-founder of the American Football League as the original owner of the Houston Oilers, died last month.