Members of the football and sports media communities took to Twitter Thursday to mourn the loss of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, who died at his home in Atlanta earlier this week.
A 1994 graduate of Northern Illinois University, McClure had been covering football for ESPN since 2013, primarily covering the Atlanta Falcons including during their Super Bowl run in 2017. Prior to joining ESPN, the veteran reporter spent six years as a Bears beat writer for the Chicago Tribune. His work also appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Fresno Bee, the South Bend Tribune and the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.
McClure, one of the most well-regarded reporters in the NFL, built lasting friendships both at ESPN and across the industry, with many colleagues sharing heartfelt tributes on social media.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure,” Falcons CEO Rich McKay expressed in a statement Thursday. “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.”
“People will probably remember how Vaughn was able to connect and develop trusting relationships with many of the athletes he covered, or how diligent he was about deadlines, or the countless times he volunteered to help out a colleague on another sport,” said ESPN senior director of content strategy and distribution Patricia Mays in praise of McClure. “But what I respected most was how committed he was to continually improving. One of the last emails I received from him was asking for feedback. He wrote: 'Would love to talk to you after the season about how I can get better at a lot of things. I want to be great at this job.'"
The Chicago native was 48.