The Seahawks are mourning the loss of John Thompson, the team's first general manager, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 95.
The South Bend, Wash. native attended the University of Washington before getting his start in the NFL in 1960, serving as publicity director and assistant general manager for the Minnesota Vikings. Hired by the expansion Seahawks in 1975 as general manager, Thompson played a critical role in the development of the franchise, including helping select the name and colors, constructing the team's inaugural roster for the 1976 season, and overseeing the hiring of head coach Jack Patera, who would go on to receive the 1978 AP NFL Coach of the Year award. He is also credited for helping grow the team's season-ticket base to 59,000 for their inaugural season in 1976.
A statement from the organization released on Wednesday read:
We remember and honor John Thompson following his passing this week. Thompson served as the team's first general manager from 1975-82. He oversaw the hiring of Jack Patera, grew the season-ticket base to 59,000 for its inaugural season in 1976, and aided in the selection of the team's nickname and colors. Thompson's background in sports as sports information director at the University of Washington, being the first PR director for the expansion Minnesota Vikings and the first full-time executive director for the NFL Management Council made him the perfect candidate to begin an NFL franchise. The Seahawks extend our condolences to his wife, Mimi, and three children, Rick, Mike and Kathi.
Take a look at former general manager John Thompson during his time with the Seahawks from 1975-1982. Thompson was the expansion team's first general manager, helping select the team's name and colors, as well as constructing the team's inaugural roster.