Golden Nuggets: Remembering Chuck Muncie

Ezra Shaw

Teammate Steve Bartkowski and coach Mike White reflect on the ups and downs Chuck Muncie's career. The legendary Cal running back passed away at age 60 following a heart attack.

One of Cal's greatest running backs passed away last night. Only 60 years old, Chuck Muncie was fondly remembered by his teammates and coaches.

Muncie's off-field issues often overshadowed his abilities as a versatile big back with great pass-catching skills. He was suspended for the 1984 NFL season after testing positive for cocaine and later spent 18 months in prison for selling cocaine.

Bartkowski, who played quarterback for 12 seasons in the NFL, called Muncie "one of the most likable, nicest guys I've ever been around, which I think was his downfall.

"It was a strength that really became a weakness. I don't think he ever met a stranger."

Muncie got his life back in order after his NFL career ended and established the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation, which counseled young people and gang members on decision-making.

"I'm a very selfish person," Muncie told the Los Angeles Times in 2008, "and I like to feel good. One way I could make myself feel good was by helping other people. I learned, over a period of time, that was something that worked for me."

"This is a real loss because Chuck Muncie has done more for more people than any athlete than I've ever been around," said Mike White, who coached Muncie at Cal and later was head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

Rest in peace, Chuck.

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