The Seahawks on Sunday confirmed the news of Knox’s death.
Nicknamed “Ground Chuck” for his teams’ run-first offenses, Knox went 80-63 during the regular season over nine years as Seattle’s coach. His debut season with the Seahawks in 1983 was highlighted by the first playoff appearance in franchise history; Seattle advanced to the AFC Championship Game against the Raiders with a road upset of Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins in the divisional round.
Knox is the only head coach in the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor, having been inducted in 2005. His 80 victories with Seattle are second to Mike Holmgren’s 86. Pete Carroll is third with 79.
“The Seahawks family is saddened by the loss of Chuck Knox, and our deepest sympathies are extended to his wife, Shirley, and the entire Knox family,” the Seahawks said in a statement. “His presence projects an external toughness, but merited instantaneous respect by the genuine care and concern he held for his players. He was one of the great influences not only in football, but in life.”
Carroll along with former players Jack Youngblood and Brian Bosworth, who both played under Knox, were among those who paid tribute on Twitter.
Born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Knox compiled a regular-season record of 186-147-1 and went 7-11 in the playoffs during his 22 seasons as a head coach. He coached the Rams (54-15-1) from 1973 to 1977, the Bills (37-36) from 1978 to 1982, the Seahawks from 1983 to 1991 and the Rams (15-33) again from 1992 to 1994.
He was named the AP Coach of the Year in 1973, 1980 and 1984 and also won the UPI version of the award in 1983 and 1984.
“Chuck Knox was the best coach I ever had,” Tom Mack, a former Rams guard and Pro Football Hall of Famer, was quoted as saying in a 2016 Los Angeles Times story. “He always took the time to know each player well enough that he could talk to each player and hit their hot buttons. I never saw another coach like that.”
In their statement, the Rams said that Knox “established a winning culture and a legacy that will never be forgotten, being the only coach to lead the Rams to five consecutive double-digit-win seasons. The memories and accomplishments that Coach Knox left behind will continue to inspire us and Rams fans.”