Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer died Wednesday at age 85, the team announced.
Glazer, who purchased the Buccaneers in 1995 and hoisted the team’s first Super Bowl trophy eight years later, served as a guiding force in the team’s competitive rise following decades of struggles.
In Glazer’s time as owner, the Bucs earned seven playoff berths, five playoff wins and the team’s lone Super Bowl championship in the 2002 season.
“He was a genuine, hard-working, one-of-a-kind man,” former Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. “He was a friend, a trailblazer and I’ll miss him.”
Glazer also served on the NFL’s Finance Committee and played a key role in Tampa hosting the Super Bowl on multiple occasions.
“Malcolm Glazer was the guiding force behind the building of a Super Bowl-champion organization,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “His dedication to the community was evident in all he did, including his leadership in bringing Super Bowls to Tampa Bay.
“Malcolm’s commitment to the Bucs, the NFL and the people of the Tampa Bay region are the hallmarks of his legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Linda, their six children and the entire Glazer family.“
According to the Bucs’ website, Glazer’s wife, Linda, and the couple’s six children will continue to own and operate the team.
“Malcolm was an innovator and dynamic businessman who possessed a deep passion for his Buccaneers,“ Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. “Keenly competitive on the field, Malcolm also had a particularly broad view of the NFL, including its role of sport as entertainment and the importance of making fans the priority. I learned a lot from him.
“On a personal level, Malcolm was a very caring person. He was the first to call me and offer his assistance when I acquired the Falcons, and the first to seek me out anytime the Falcons played the Buccaneers. His and his family’s ownership of the Buccaneers has enriched our league in many ways.”
In 2005, Glazer purchased the Manchester United soccer team. Manchester won five Premier League titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013), as well as the 2008 Champions League title.
A resident of Palm Beach, Fla., Glazer leaves behind his wife, six children and 14 grandchildren.
“I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me by Mr. Glazer and his family from when I arrived in 2002 up until my departure,” said Washington Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris, who was an assistant with the Buccaneers. “He was always very supportive and his family has been great to me. I send my prayers and thoughts to his wife, Linda, and his six beautiful children — his sons, Ed, Joel, Bryan, Kevin and Avie, and his daughter, Darcie.”