Jack Patera, the first coach of the Seattle Seahawks, died Wednesday at age 85.
The cause was complications of pancreatic cancer. KIRO 7’s Steve Raible remembers his former coach in a video below.
Patera's 1976 Seahawks roster was loaded with green rookies and cast-off veterans -- all packed into Kingdome full of rabid, and patient, fans.
Patera had to build a brand new team from scratch. He did so by bringing in guys like Steve Largent and Jim Zorn, who remain household names to this day.
“They were nothing but good memories,” Patera told KIRO 7 in 2006. “Those were fun years for me and I have nothing but fond memories.”
In their first four years under Jack Patera, the Seahawks became the league's most successful expansion team. Then came two losing seasons, and Patera was fired during the NFL players strike of 1982. It was his last job in the NFL.
Born in North Dakota and raised in Oregon, John Arlen Patera played football for the University of Oregon. He then played seven seasons in the NFL, before he transitioned to coaching in 1963.
Patera spent his retirement years in Cle Elum -- about 90 miles east of Seattle -- with his dogs, kids and grandchildren. But he was still close enough to soak up the thunderous roar of the 12s, and to see the empire he helped create.
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