RENTON — Jack Patera, the first head coach in the history of the Seattle Seahawks, has died at age 85.
Patera died on Wednesday, the team said. The cause of death was not clear, but Patera had been battling pancreatic cancer.
Patera was Seattle’s head coach for parts of seven seasons, beginning with the team’s inaugural season in 1976. Patera’s best seasons came in 1978-79 when the Seahawks went 9-7 in consecutive years, but failed to make the playoffs. Patera was named the NFL coach of the year in 1978 when the Seahawks missed the playoffs by one game.
Seattle never reached the postseason until 1983. Patera was fired after starting the 1982 season 0-2 and finished his career as a head coach with a 35-59 record.
Before joining the Seahawks, Patera was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. Patera also had a seven-year playing career with the Baltimore Colts, Chicago Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys between 1955-61.