John Teerlinck ~ Passed Away 05-10-20

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Dear Fellow Leathernecks:

Former WIU All-American and Hall of Famer, and long time NFL Assistant Coach, John Teerlinck passed away yesterday. He was 69 years of age. At this time, the exact cause of death is not known. I know John struggled with weight issues for a number of years later in his NFL coaching career.

I knew John very well during his time in Macomb. He was a natural leader, intense at times, had a great sense of humor and he was a true character. John was one of the notable football stars of the Darrell Mudra coaching era at WIU. Rest in peace, John!

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Scott Lawson - Board Admin
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One of the greatest defensive line coaches in the National Football League and former Western Illinois football alumnus, John Teerlinck, passed away on Sunday (May 10) night.

Teerlinck was a three-year letter-wearer at WIU from 1971-73 and was a fifth-round pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 1974 NFL Draft. The former defensive tackle received AP Third Team honors in 1973 and still holds the record for second-most sacks in a game (4).

He played in 20 games and notched seven starts across the 1974 and 1975 seasons before starting a 35-year coaching career that included multiple stops on NFL staffs.

The Rochester, N.Y., native most notoriously spent the 2002-12 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and is known for the development of pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, who combined for a total of 199 sacks through 2012 with Indy.

Teerlinck won three Super Bowl titles as an assistant coach - XXXII and XXXIII with the Broncos and XLI with the Colts. Also several of his players ended up with at least 100 career sacks, including Bubba Baker, Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene, John Randle, and Neil Smith.
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