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Great Kansas, Chargers quarterback John Hadl dies at 82

John Hadl, one of the legends of the American Football League, died Wednesday at the age of 82.

Hadl played college football at Kansas.

As a sophomore in 1959, in his first season of collegiate eligibility, Hadl led the NCAA in punting (45.6 yards per punt) and set KU records for the longest punt (94 yards, which still stands) and the longest interception return (98 yards, which stood until 2007).

…With Hadl running the offense, the Jayhawks were ranked in the top-20 his junior and senior years and finished the two-season span 14-5-2. He wrapped up his Kansas career leading his team to the program’s first-ever bowl victory, a 33-7 decision over Rice in the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl.

His No. 21 is one of three Kansas football numbers to be retired (Gale Sayers No. 48 and Ray Evans No. 42).

His pro career was part of the high-flying Chargers teams of the early AFL.

Hadl played 11 seasons for San Diego before stints with the Rams, Packers, and Oilers. He wore an unusual number for a quarterback: 21, which made him unique.

Hadl was a backup on the Chargers’ 1963 AFL Championship team, He led the AFL in passing three times in his career.

He finished with 33,503 yards passing, 244 touchdown passes, and an 82-75-9 record as a starting QB. He was also the 1971 NFL Man of the Year.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire