Jack Patera, first coach in Seahawks history, dies at age 85

Oct 31, 2018, 1:12 PM | Updated: 2:51 pm

Jack Patera, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks from their inaugural season of 1976 until 1982, died Wednesday morning due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

Seahawks radio play-by-play announcer and KIRO 7 news anchor Steve Raible, who played for Patera with the Seahawks, announced Patera’s death on Twitter. The Seahawks released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

Patera led the Seahawks to back-to-back 9-7 seasons in 1978 and 1979, winning NFL Coach of the Year after leading Seattle to its first winning record in its third season of play. He finished his six-year stint with Seattle with a 35-59 record.

After attending high school in Portland and college at the University of Oregon, Patera played in the NFL from 1955 through 1961, including stints with the Baltimore Colts, Chicago Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. He began with the Colts as a guard on the offensive line but spent the majority of his pro career as a linebacker on defense.

Patera started his coaching career in 1963 with the Los Angeles Rams, and after serving as an assistant for the Rams (1963-67), New York Giants (1967-68) and Minnesota Vikings (1969-75), he was named head coach of the expansion Seahawks for their inaugural 1976 season.

Patera retired to Cle Elum after the end of his coaching tenure with the Seahawks.

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