Charlotte, N.C. Hall of Fame offensive lineman and former Kansas University standout Mike McCormack died Friday in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 83.
During his nearly 50 years in professional football, McCormack played, coached and held several executive positions, including president of the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said he spoke with McCormack’s wife, Ann, and was informed of McCormack’s death from natural causes.
McCormack, an offensive tackle, lettered for the Jayhawks from 1948-50. He was a Big Seven first-team honoree in 1950 before going on to be a third-round draft pick in the 1951 NFL Draft. McCormack was inducted into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame and is a member of the Kansas football Ring of Honor.
McCormack spent 12 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, helping the franchise win NFL championships in 1954 and 1955. He played with Otto Graham and blocked for running back Jim Brown.
McCormack later coached the Philadelphia Eagles (1973-75), Baltimore Colts (1980-81) and Seattle Seahawks (1982). He served as president and general manager of the Seahawks.
McCormack was instrumental in helping the Panthers land an NFL franchise in 1993 and is the first person selected into the team’s Hall of Honor.
“It is safe to say that we would probably not have a team in the Carolinas if it were not for Mike McCormack,” Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in a release. “He had the contacts in the National Football League and was universally respected by everyone associated with professional football.”