Chuck Muncie, a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame and former standout running back for the San Diego Chargers, has died at the age of 60.
The Saints and Chargers both confirmed his death, while ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that he died from a heart attack.
A 2008 L.A. Times story on Muncie chronicled his redemption from drug abuse that ended his NFL career early.
Muncie went to prison in 1989 for selling cocaine. Years after his release from prison, where he spent 1½ years, the former running back great founded the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation, which has helped “countless youngsters avoid the bad decisions that nearly destroyed” Muncie, the Times said.
The Saints drafted Muncie out of the University of California in 1976 with the third overall pick.
He ended up playing for the Saints for five seasons, rushing for 3,393 yards, then the most-ever in franchise history. He averaged 4.31 yard-per-carry in his five seasons in New Orleans. Both are fifth-best in franchise history.
He registered six 100-yard games with New Orleans, his best a 161-yard day against Atlanta on Sept. 2, 1979. And his 1,198 yards that season made him the first 1,000-yard rusher in Saints history.
That season, Muncie earned a Pro Bowl berth, becoming the only Saints player ever to earn that all-star game’s MVP award.
On Oct. 7, 1980, Muncie was traded to the Chargers, where he finished his career, for a second-round pick.
In San Diego, he turned in an impressive 1981 season, registering a then-franchise best 19 touchdowns. In more than three seasons with the Chargers, he rushed for 3,309 yards, including 11 100-yard games, and 43 rushing touchdowns, still the second-most in San Diego history.