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Longtime NFL coach Chuck Knox dies at 86

Reuters

Chuck Knox, a longtime NFL coach who won 186 regular-season games, died Sunday at age 86, the Seattle Seahawks confirmed.

Knox’s granddaughter, Lee Ann, originally announced the news on Twitter.

Knox reportedly was suffering from dementia and recently entered hospice care.

Knox coached for the Los Angeles Rams (twice), Buffalo Bills and Seahawks during his 22 seasons as a head coach. His regular-season record was 186-147-1 and he went 7-11 in postseason play.

He guided four teams to conference championship games — the Rams three times in the 1970s and the Seahawks in 1983 — but never reached a Super Bowl.

Knox was named NFL Coach of the Year three times (1973, 1980 and 1984) and was tabbed “Ground Chuck” for his run-first offenses.

His former teams remembered Knox in statements on Sunday.

“We are saddened by the loss of Chuck Knox, a legendary coach and member of the Los Angeles Rams family,” the Rams said. “He 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. We hold his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

The Seahawks said, in part: “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. A member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor, Knox coached the Seahawks from 1983-91 and was a beloved figurehead by players, coaches and staff. His presence projected an external toughness, but merited instantaneous respect by the genuine care and concern he held for his players. He was one of the great influencers not only in football, but in life. …

“As Knox said himself, ‘What you do speaks so well, no one needs to you hear what you say.’ “

The Bills posted on Twitter, “Our thoughts are with the Knox family after the passing of former Bills head coach Chuck Knox.”

Knox was an offensive line coach before landing the Rams’ job in 1973 and going 12-2, the first of five straight 10-win seasons with the franchise.

He departed after the 1977 season to take over the Buffalo Bills and he guided the team to two playoff appearances in five seasons. The sides parted ways due to contract dispute following the 1982 season.

Knox was hired by the Seahawks and made the playoffs in four of his six seasons and his 80-63 record stands for second-most wins in franchise history behind Mike Holmgren (86-74). Knox departed following the 1991 campaign after a second losing season in a three-year span.

Knox returned to the Rams and experienced three straight poor seasons — going 15-33 from 1992-94 — to end his NFL head-coaching career.

Former Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth posted a photo on his Twitter account of Knox hugging him, writing, “Embracing this man was a moment I have never forgotten. Coach Knox was a man made of stone & grit but had heart for the game & his players that defined what playing in the NFL was all about..it was my Honor to share the game you loved & thank you for being my COACH. @Seahawks”

Current Seattle head coach Pete Carroll tweeted, “Sending out heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and former players of Coach Chuck Knox— a true Seahawks legend and a man who had a great impact on so many.”

Hall of Fame defensive end Jack Youngblood, who played under Knox with the Rams, tweeted a photo of a handwritten note that read, “Coach — I want to say thank you for your trust in me, allowing us to make our way to Canton. God bless you always. Jack.” He added, “Chuck Knox was one of the most influential men in the early days of my career. Great coach and an even better man. #RIPChuckKnox”