ESPN NFL reporter Vaughn McClure has been found dead at his apartment in Atlanta at age 48.
No cause of death has been announced for the journalist, who covered the Atlanta Falcons for the sports channel’s NFL Nation section.
McClure covered the team during their Super Bowl LI run in 2017 and was a regular contributor on ESPN’s television and radio coverage of the Falcons and the NFL.
‘We all loved Vaughn,’ John Pluym, senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage at ESPN, said in a statement.
‘He had a heart of gold. He was so helpful to our reporters. In the last few hours, we’ve heard so many stories about how Vaughn had helped them with a story or how he put in a good word for them with a coach or player.’
According to his ESPN bio, McClure, a Chicago native, graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1994 with a degree in journalism.
His first job was at the DeKalb Daily Chronicle as a general assignment reporter, followed by jobs at the South Bend Tribune, Fresno Bee and Chicago-Sun Times.
He spent six seasons covering the Chicago Bears for the Chicago Tribune before being hired at ESPN in September 2013.
McClure wrote in-depth features and statistical analysis and also provided video updates.
He had reported as recently as Wednesday about the Falcons’ firing of head coach Dan Quinn and transition to interim head coach Raheem Morris.
Tributes on Twitter poured in from across the football world, including from teams, players and other sports reporters.
‘We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure,’ Falcons team president Rich McKay said in a statement.
‘He was an earnest, thoughtful reporter who had a passion for his craft and the relationships he held. He will be missed dearly and we are holding his family, friends and associates in our thoughts and prayers.’
The Bears also put out a statement, which read: ‘Saddened by this loss and sending our sincere condolences.
Several players, including former Bears linebacker and Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, shared their sympathies.
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Source: Daily Mail