John J. Idzik, 85, a Bridesburg native who played football for Northeast Catholic High School and went on to a long coaching career that included a stint as the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator in the mid-1970s, died Tuesday, Dec. 3, at his home in Chadds Ford.
His son, John Jr., general manager of the New York Jets, said his father "had a tremendous impact on me personally and I witnessed his impact on several generations of players and coaches. He was a remarkable man."
At Northeast Catholic, Mr. Idzik was an All-Scholastic and All-Catholic Team halfback and a catcher for the school's City Championship baseball team, his family said.
In 1947, he turned down a baseball contract offer from the St. Louis Cardinals to attend the University of Maryland on a football scholarship.
Mr. Idzik was a four-year letterman as a back from 1947 to 1950, and as a senior played in the Mahi Shrine North-South College All-Star Football Classic, an all-star game for college football players.
He also played varsity baseball and was a three-year starter at third base.
After graduating in 1951, Mr. Idzik served in the Marine Corps.
He was hired in 1954 by the University of Tennessee as an assistant football coach for his expertise in the split-T offense.
His first foray in professional football came in 1955 with the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League.
He returned to Maryland from 1956 to 1958 as offensive assistant coach. He became offensive coordinator at the University of Detroit in 1959 and was promoted to head coach in 1961. He was hired as offensive backfield coach at Tulane University in 1965.
Mr. Idzik moved on to the NFL, starting his 16-year league career as the Miami Dolphins' offensive backfield coach from 1966 to 1969. He held a similar position with the Baltimore Colts from 1970 to 1972, and was on the staff that guided Baltimore to victory in Super Bowl V.
Mr. Idzik returned to his hometown and the Eagles as offensive coordinator from 1973 to 1976 before moving to the New York Jets in the same job from 1977 to 1979.
His final stint in the NFL came as offensive backfield coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1980 and 1981.
He ended his coaching career as offensive backfield coach of the U.S. Football League Washington Federals in 1983 and head coach of the Aberdeen Scotland Oilers in the British American Football League in 1990. He worked with his son, who was offensive coordinator of the Aberdeen team.
Mr. Idzik and his wife, the former Joyce Hoppensteadt, lived in Chadds Ford after his coaching career.
Besides his wife of 60 years and son, he is survived by daughters Cynthia and Joyce; a sister, Laura; and five grandchildren.
A viewing will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Concordia Lutheran Church, 3003 Silverside Rd., Wilmington, Del. 19810. A funeral will follow at 1 p.m. at the church. Interment is in Lower Brandywine Cemetery, Wilmington.
The family said donations may be made to the church.