Jack Pardee, one of Bear Bryant's "Junction Boys" at Texas A&M who went on to become an All-Pro linebacker and an NFL coach, died Monday. He was 76. In November, Pardee's family announced that he had gall bladder cancer that had spread to other organs and that he had six to nine months to live. The family has established a memorial scholarship fund in Pardee's name at the University of Houston, where Pardee coached from 1987-89. "Today, we mourn the passing of a great man who dedicated his life to the game of football and was a true gentleman in every sense of the word," Houston athletic director Mack Rhoades said. "It was not a coincidence that success followed coach and his teams wherever he worked, and the University of Houston program was blessed to have him lead our football program during some of our most exciting times." Pardee was born in Iowa and moved to west-central Texas as a teenager. He played six-man football at Christoval High School before moving on to Texas A&M. Bryant became the Aggies' coach in 1954 and moved their preseason camp to desolate Junction, about 100 miles northwest of San Antonio. The state endured a severe drought and a historic heat wave that year, but Bryant worked his team through the brutal conditions and refused to allow water breaks in an effort to toughen players. Pardee was one of 35 players who made it through to the end of the 10-day camp without quitting. "Not only did we lose a Texas A&M legend today, we lost a man who was a legend at every level of football," Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman said in a statement.
Former Bears coach Jack Pardee dies at 76
Daily Herald | Apr 3