Legendary NFL coach Howard Mudd died on Wednesday due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash two weeks ago. He was 78. He remained in the ICU and needed more surgeries, but his condition reportedly took a turn for the worse. His family then announced his death and said that no funeral is planned, but they will hold a celebration of life in the future.
"We want to share that yesterday we (as a family) made the decision to focus care on providing Howard the most comfort," the Mudd family wrote on Wednesday on his CaringBridge.org page. "Right after the accident he fought so hard against all odds to communicate to us that he loves us and that he knows we love him. Yesterday, it became clear that he was ready and that we needed to surround him with love and fight for his right to comfort and peace. This morning he was surrounded in the room by his sons (Darren and Adam) who held his arms and prayed over him as he passed away."
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that people make donations to Mudd's favorite charity: the Indianapolis Great Pyrenees Rescue. They also asked people to honor his memory by sharing a "stupid joke" or having a belly laugh. Another way is calling up a friend to say that you are thinking of them.
"Rest in peace, Howard Mudd," Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted on Wednesday. "Howard was a GREAT player during a shortened career and then became one of the game's all-time greatest offensive line coaches. He contributed to many different teams over 47 years in our league---but he will always be a Colt." Mudd previously served as a coach for the Colts from 1998 until 2009.
A member of the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, Mudd spent eight seasons in the NFL and was a two-time member of the All-Pro team. He played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears. His career ended prematurely due to a knee injury, but Mudd continued to make an impact on the NFL.
Following his playing carer, Mudd kicked off a decades-long career as one of the league's greatest offensive line coaches. He spent time with the San Diego Chargers (1974-76), San Francisco 49ers (1977), Seattle Seahawks (1978-82; 1993-97), Cleveland Browns (1983-88), Kansas City Chiefs (1989-92) and Philadelphia Eagles (2011-12).
While Mudd found considerable success in the NFL, he made the biggest impact on the Indianapolis Colts while helping make Peyton Manning one of the least-sacked quarterbacks. He coached an offensive line that made two appearances in the Super Bowl, winning one. Mudd retired from the NFL following the 2012 season but briefly returned in 2019 to help first-year offensive line coach Chris Strausser prepare the Colts for the season.