NEW YORK — Former National Football League coach Buddy Ryan died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, the league said in a statement. He was 82 years old.
Ryan, known as a prodigy defensive strategist, served as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals and defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers in his decadeslong career.
“The architect of perhaps the greatest defense in NFL history, a doting father to a pair of current-day coaches who carry on his blustery style and legendary curmudgeon beloved by multiple fan bases passed away,” the NFL said in a statement.
As a defensive coordinator, Ryan propelled the Chicago Bears to win the Super Bowl XX in 1985. He coached the New York Jets to win the franchise’s only Super Bowl victory in 1969.
Ryan’s twin sons, Rex and Rob, also are NFL coaches.