John Hadl Obituary, Death – John Hadl, a longtime quarterback in the NFL who passed away on Wednesday, was a star player for his alma mater, the Kansas Jayhawks, before embarking on a professional career that included six appearances in the Pro Bowl and an All-Pro nomination. He was 82.
In a statement, the university, to which Hadl had returned after his playing days to serve as a coach and fundraiser, made the announcement of his passing, citing his family as a source. There was no explanation provided.
Travis Goff, the athletic director for the Jayhawks, stated that “John Hadl had an impact on Kansas football that will be felt for generations to come.” “He was a coach and mentor, a prolific fundraiser who developed profound relationships with countless, and the ultimate ambassador for the University of Kansas. He was a once-in-a-lifetime Jayhawk student-athlete.” In a nutshell, John has had a profound impact on our university as well as our athletic program, both of which will live on as enduring monuments to his legacy. Our most sincere condolences and prayers are with Diana, (husband John’s) wife, and the rest of the Hadl family.
Hadl was a standout in football and basketball for Lawrence High School, which is located a short drive from the University of Kansas campus, but he made his name on the gridiron for Kansas. As a sophomore, he led the NCAA in punting and set multiple records, including the record for longest punt (94 yards), which he still holds, and the record for longest interception return (98 yards), which he held until 2007.
During his final two seasons at Kansas, Hadl played both halfback and quarterback, contributing to the team’s overall record of 14-5-2 during that time. The two-time All-American finished his career by guiding the Jayhawks to victory over Rice in the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl, which was the program’s first victory in a bowl game.