ESPN’s Atlanta Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure is dead at 48 years old.
The network announced on Thursday that he died this week at his home near Atlanta. The cause of death was not reported.
“We all loved Vaughn,” ESPN senior deputy editor John Pluym said in the network’s report of McClure’s death. “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 joined the network in 2013 and covered the Falcons during their 2017 Super Bowl run. Previously, he worked for the Chicago Tribune from 2009-2013 covering the Bears and Bulls. He was a Chicago native.
McClure reported as recently as Wednesday on the Falcons’ transition from fired head coach Dan Quinnn to interim coach Raheem Morris.
The Falcons released a statement on McClure from team president Rich McKay.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure,” McKay said. “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 released a statement.
Saddened by this loss and sending our sincere condolences. https://t.co/4ISFheCq4d
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) October 15, 2020
McClure’s colleagues remember him fondly
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson were among McClure’s colleagues to post remembrances on social media.
I remember Vaughn reaching out in the mid-2000’s upon accepting a job at my old newspaper – The Fresno Bee – to talk about working there. He replaced @JeffPassan, who left Vaughn all his phone numbers. An honor to have him as an ESPN colleague. A beautiful man, gone far too soon. https://t.co/yX8ZXatzHp
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2020
Losing Vaughn McClure hurts. I met Vaughn years ago when he covered the #Bears and we both lived in Chicago, then enjoyed bumping into him in Atlanta from time to time. A special guy. Always upbeat, always asking how you were, always easy to smile or laugh. He'll be missed. #RIP
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) October 15, 2020
Years before Vaughn and I were colleagues — and I didn’t even know about this until later — he told a coach, “You can trust her.” That is so rare in this business. When one of us broke a story, Vaughn would be the first to reach out to offer congratulations. This loss is immense.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) October 15, 2020
Vaughn McClure made you feel like a celebrity every time you saw him. I simply cannot believe he is gone. Absolutely crushing. pic.twitter.com/uWjeWU6Tpa
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) October 15, 2020
For those who weren’t lucky enough to meet Vaughn McClure or have the privilege to call him a friend, I want to at least share with you how I’ll remember him. Rest in paradise, my brother. Until we meet again... pic.twitter.com/O3BkWMn0A6
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) October 15, 2020
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