College Football Hall of Famer John Hadl has passed away at the age of 82.
The University of Kansas legend died on Wednesday morning, the program announced.
Hadl, a Lawrence native, played for the Jayhawks from 1958-61. He excelled at a variety of positions, including punter, defensive back, halfback and quarterback. He led the team at QB during his junior and senior seasons, becoming the first Kansas player to earn two All-American honors.
Hadl led the program to its first ever bowl game win with a 33-7 victory over Rice in the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl.
A statement from Director of Athletics Travis Goff:
“John Hadl had a generational impact on Kansas Football, the University of Kansas and the Lawrence community. He was a once-in-a-lifetime Jayhawk student-athlete, a coach and mentor, a prolific fundraiser who developed profound 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 Diana and the Hadl family. We will deeply miss John and his contagious smile but will proudly honor him and his unrivaled legacy as we move forward.”
A statement from current head coach Lance Leipold:
“Upon my arrival, I heard instantly from people across the state about John’s impact to this department, not just as a student-athlete and coach, but as someone who dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to the University of Kansas. His desire to enhance KU and make it as special as possible truly resonated with me. To be the head coach of this program and see his statue every day outside Anderson Family Football Complex, is a firm reminder of the passion and love that John had for this program. Kelly and I send our condolences to the Hadl family and his loved ones.”
Hadl, the No. 10 overall pick in the 1962 NFL Draft, also enjoyed a successful 16-year career at the professional level. The six-time Pro Bowler played in three American Football League Championship games and was named National Football Conference Player of the Year in 1973.
Hadl was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as member of the 1994 class.