SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Former Cal and NFL star running back Chuck Muncie died from a heart attack in Riverside County Monday.

“He was just a great athlete. He was a phenom. He could do anything,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection with the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers from 1976 until 1984, even Muncie agreed he could have been better.

“It did come so easy for him that he didn’t have to abide by a lot of the rules,” Madden said. “That’s the old story. What if he had applied himself?”

Muncie was suspended for the entire 1984 season after testing positive for cocaine, and later served 18 months in prison for selling drugs.

“The light came on a little late for his athletic career, but not too late for his life,” Madden said.

Later, Muncie worked with the Boys and Girls Club for 20 years and founded the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation in 1997.

“He was able to help people. He could do things with inner city gang types, drug types, because he’d been there and knew what it was. And he went from being one of them to wanting to help them not go down that road… Chuck Muncie was definitely one of the best.” (7:35)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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