John Clayton, the longtime ESPN football reporter nicknamed “The Professor” for his breadth of knowledge about the NFL, died Friday in Washington state after a brief undisclosed illness, his family told ESPN.
“His wife Pat and sister Amy were at his side and communicated earlier he passed peacefully after a brief illness,” his longtime ESPN colleague Chris Mortensen tweeted. “We loved John. We are mourning his loss.”
Clayton’s five-decade career began when he was still a senior at Duquesne University, hired by the Pittsburgh Press to cover the Steelers. But he rose to prominence in his 20-plus years at ESPN, where his bespectacled appearance and encyclopedic knowledge of football won him wide admiration.
After leaving ESPN in 2017, he spent the last five seasons spent as a sideline reporter for the Seattle Seahawks Radio Network and hosted the “John Clayton Weekend” show on Seattle Sports 710. Just 10