BERKELEY (CBS Sports/AP) – Former Cal Golden Bear running back Chuck Muncie has died at the age of 60, a family spokesman said Tuesday.
Muncie family spokesman Vintage Foster said Muncie died from heart failure at his Los Angeles-area home.
Muncie was the third overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, and he was later traded to the San Diego Chargers.
In nine seasons, Muncie finished with 6,702 rushing yards and 74 total touchdowns while appearing in three Pro Bowls. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated five times, including three as a Cal Bear.
Muncie’s NFL career was cut short do to personal problems. He was suspended for the entire 1984 season after testing positive for cocaine. Muncie attempted a comeback in 1985 with the Minnesota Vikings, but abruptly retired to get his life back on track.
After an 18-month prison stint in California for selling cocaine, Muncie was able to indeed get his life back on track. He credited his life change to a renewed focus on community service and selflessness.
Muncie also became an active alumnus for Cal, where he is a member of the university’s athletic Hall of Fame. In 1975, he helped the Golden Bears win a share of the Pac-8 Trophy and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up.
“Although it’s been nearly 40 years since Chuck suited up for the Cal football program, stories of his accomplishments on the field of play still resonate throughout Memorial Stadium,” Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said.
“After he hung up his cleats as a professional, he became an incredible advocate and positive influence on so many youth through his foundation, and he was a familiar face on campus and at Cal football games. All of us in the Cal family are saddened by his sudden and far-too-soon passing, and he will be deeply missed,” said Barbour.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)