Chuck Muncie


METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Chuck Muncie, a Pro Bowl running back with both the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, has died at age 60, the NFL clubs and a family spokesman said Tuesday.

Muncie family spokesman Vintage Foster of AMF Media Group in San Ramon, Calif., said Muncie died at his Los Angeles-area home on Monday from heart failure.

Muncie was the Saints' first-round pick, third overall, out of California in 1976. He played 4½ seasons in New Orleans before being traded in 1980 to San Diego, where he finished his nine-year NFL career.

In 1979, Muncie became the first Saint to rush for 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns, and his 1,506 total yards from scrimmage earned him the first of his three Pro Bowl selections.

The 6-foot-3 Muncie, who played at 227 pounds, and fellow Saints running back Tony Galbreath formed what then-coach Hank Stram dubbed the "Thunder and Lightning" combination in the New Orleans ba ckfield. Both running backs are now member of the Saints Hall of Fame.

Saints owner Tom Benson said in a written statement that the Saints were mourning Muncie's "untimely passing," adding, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and other loved ones at this difficult time."

Muncie was traded by the Saints at midseason in 1980 to the San Diego Chargers, where he played 51 games and was named to Pro Bowl rosters two more times, in 1981 and '82. In 2009, the club recognized him as one of the 50 greatest Chargers of all time.

His accomplishments on the field came despite cocaine use, and in 1989, five years after his retirement from pro football, Muncie was sentenced to 18 months in prison for a cocaine distribution conviction.

Thereafter, however, he began sharing his life story with at-risk youth, highlighting his struggles with drug abuse. He created the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation, the mission of which was to offer children mentoring, educati onal assistance and counseling.

"His work with at-risk youth, the Boys and Girls Clubs and his foundation were the things that really made him shine," Muncie's daughter, Danielle Ward, said in a written statement provided by Foster.

"He was star on the football field but his most impressive work was done in the second chapter of his life where he lived his life with great transparency," added Muncie's former wife, Robyn Hood. "He simply wanted others to learn from his mistakes. He carried that message with him everywhere he went. And as a result, he changed the lives of hundreds of kids. He made a difference."

Muncie's 43 touchdowns for San Diego, and 19 touchdowns in a single season, both rank second in Chargers history, eclipsed only by LaDainian Tomlinson.

"Everyone at the Chargers is deeply saddened by the passing of Chuck Muncie, one of the greatest running backs in Chargers history," the team said in a written statement. "We will remember him a s a tremendous athlete with a larger-than-life personality. It's a sad day for all of us and all Chargers fans."

In nine seasons, Muncie finished with 6,702 yards rushing, 2,323 yards receiving and 74 total touchdowns.


BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer

AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

Always admired Chuck's feats on the field, and his contribution to the youth programs of California. Would like to fund the Chuck Muncie Story for a film.

It was great time
I didn't know you personally but was stationed with your daughter and son in law, in Guam on the uss frank cable I thought it was great knowing someone who knew someone who was related to someone famous. Danielle talked about you I loved to here her stories. I always listened. I have great respect for someone who raised someone who I respect your daughter thanks for your gift to the world as a talented football player and a father.

I own taxi service in Vero beach Ivanas taxi took chuck fr Sebastian to Mco one early morning he was a pleasure and we texted for a while after so sorry to hear of his passing he accomplished a lot

I will always remember your big smile , larger than life and your laugh . You were an exceptional person not just in football but in life . I will miss talking to you.You gave so much of your heart and time helping others and you were an inspiration . Will always remember you and your big hugs. Rest in peace you are truly an angel .

It's still very hard living without you. I have your love, your smile all of the wonderful memories in my heart.--Love Patty

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.

To my baby brother, oh how I miss you!
Forever in my heart. I love you Chuck. I know that I will see you again .Rest, I love you. Your SIS--Patty

My heart is broken at the thought That Chuck is no longer with us, he was my friend my hero always ready to help a child in need of hope and a sense of self worth he was truly a gentle giant, rest in peace big fella, you will be truly missed .