SAN DIEGO — Former San Diego Chargers star running back Chuck Muncie has died of a heart attack at the age of 60, ESPN reported Tuesday.
Muncie played for the Bolts from 1980 to 1984, when drug problems forced him into retirement. Muncie went on to spend 18 months in a federal California prison for cocaine distribution.
After prison, he turned his life around and founded the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation in 1997. The Southern California-based foundation offers youths several services, including mentoring, camps, tattoo removal, school assistance and job training.
“Everything I did and everything I went through in my life has allowed me to do the things I’m doing now,” Muncie told the Los Angeles Times in a 2008 interview. “I’ve been able to tell these guys, `Been there, done that, and if you keep doing these things, this is what’s going to happen.”
Muncie, who played college football at Cal, was drafted by the New Orleans Saints and was traded to San Diego, where his powerful running style was a fit for head coach Don Coryell’s offense.
“Everyone at the Chargers is deeply saddened by the passing of Chuck Muncie, one of the greatest running backs in Chargers history,” according to a statement from the team. “We will remember him as a tremendous athlete with a larger-than-life personality. It’s a sad day for all of us and all Chargers fans.”
The two-time Pro Bowl selection is second on the Chargers list of career and single-season rushing touchdowns, with 43 and 19, respectively. LaDainian Tomlinson leads the team in both categories.
In nine seasons, Muncie finished with 6,702 rushing yards, 2,323 receiving yards and 74 total touchdowns, according to the Chargers.