Chuck Knox, the first head coach to lead the Seattle Seahawks franchise to the postseason, has died at the age of 86.
Knox had suffered from dementia in recent years. He was inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor in 2005.
"The Seahawks family is saddened by the loss of Chuck Knox, and our deepest sympathies are extended to his wife, Shirley, and the entire Knox family," the team said in a statement.
"A member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor, Knox coached the Seahawks from 1983-91 and was a beloved figurehead by players, coaches and staff. His presence projected an extreme toughness, but merited instantaneous respect by the genuine care and concern he held for his players."
Knox was the third coach to lead the Seahawks after Jack Patera and Mike McCormack combined to coach the team for its first seven seasons. Seattle made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in Knox's first year with the team. The Seahawks rattled off a 31-7 win over the Denver Broncos in the Wild Card round and managed a 27-20 upset of the Miami Dolphins the following week to advance to the AFC Championship game, where they'd lose to the Los Angeles Raiders.
Knox earned NFL Coach of the Year honors in 1983 for leading Seattle to the playoffs. When they followed it up with a 12-4 campaign in 1984, Knox was named Coach of the Year for a second straight season.
The Seahawks never won fewer than seven games in Knox's nine seasons as head coach and made the playoffs two more times during his tenure as head coach. They wouldn't win another playoff game until 2005 and wouldn't win another road playoff game until 2012.
Knox was the first coach in league history to lead three different franchises to the playoffs. He led the Los Angeles Rams to the postseason in each of his five seasons as head coach (1973-77) and took the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs in two of his five years with the franchise (1978-82).
"We are saddened by the loss of Chuck Knox, a legendary coach and member of the Los Angeles Rams family," the Rams said in a statement. "He established a winning culture and a legacy that will never be forgotten, being the only coach to lead the Rams to five consecutive double-digit win seasons. The memories and accomplishments that Coach Knox left behind will continue to inspire us and Rams fans. We hold his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Photo Credit: KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Head coach Chuck Knox of the Seattle Seahawks watches the NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on November 20, 1988 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Seahawks 27-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)