One of the men most responsible for bringing an NFL franchise to the Carolinas is now gone. Mike McCormack, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and the first-ever president of the Carolina Panthers, died on Friday at the age of 83. McCormack served as Panthers president for the team’s first two seasons, retiring in 1997.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said McCormick played an instrumental role in the franchise’s existence.
"It is safe to say that we would probably not have a team in the Carolinas if it were not for Mike McCormack," Richardson said. "He had the contacts in the National Football League and was universally respected by everyone associated with professional football.
McCormick began his NFL career as a player, playing 11 seasons with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. He won two championships, made six Pro Bowl appearances and blocked for Jim Brown. He also served as head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Colts and Seattle Seahawks.