South Texas family shares unique connection to legendary coach John Madden

Martin Madro’s father Joe coached with John Madden in Oakland

SAN ANTONIO – Football icon John Madden influenced many people during his time as a hall of fame coach and broadcaster.

That included South Texan Martin Madro, the son of Joe Madro, a respected coach in his own right who coached with Madden in the late 1970s in Oakland.

“Being a son of a professional football coach, obviously you run into a lot of interesting people,” said Martin Madro.

Before their time in Oakland, the Madro family lived in San Diego.

“My father was offensive line coach for the San Diego Chargers,” said Madro. “John was the defensive coordinator for San Diego State.”

One of Madro’s most memorable stories of Madden is not even from the field, it was from church. Madro would go with his father to Sunday night mass and Madden would pull his dad aside after the service to pick his brain about the game.

“He would be waiting by the car. As a kid, I remember this so much because I just wanted to get home. I didn’t know who this guy was and it happened several times in a row! I even started to go into church with my mom so I could avoid that,” Madro joked.

Madro said Madden was the same person on the field as he was off it.

“The way he talks and his energy. It wasn’t some shtick that he invented for Monday Night Football or even as a head coach, it’s just who he was,” said Madro.

FILE - Oakland Raiders coach John Madden stands on the sideline during an NFL football game in October 1978. (AP Photo, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Years later, Madro’s father was on Madden’s coaching staff during the Raiders run of competing for Super Bowl championships. Madro’s father was on Madden’s coaching staff until 1978 when Madden left the organization. Madro said his father would go on to win a few championships with the organization.

My dad won two Super Bowls with the Raiders. Obviously, that’s like the pinnacle,” said Madro. “The Raiders were quite a troop.”

Madden died on Dec. 28 and left behind an impressive legacy and impact on the game of football. But Madro said he will never forget those moments from his childhood when it was just his dad and John talking football from a church parking lot.

“He held my dad captive,” Madro joked. “My father was a good teacher so he wasn’t going to just say, ‘Hey John, I got to get out of here.’ He enjoyed talking football and John was a good student. You can see that by the results of his lifetime.”

(Pic: Madro family provided by Martin Madro.)
(Pic: Madro family provided by Martin Madro.)

About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

Rick Medina is a Video News Editor at KSAT. A graduate of the University of Texas' prestigious Radio-Television-Film program, he has been in the news business for more than 20 years. Rick is also a documentary filmmaker, helming the award-winning film festival favorites, “The Opossum Begins” and “Amigoland.” He is originally from Brownsville.

Recommended Videos