ESPN football reporter Vaughn McClure dies at 48

Vaughn McClure, a longtime NFL reporter for ESPN, died this week at his residence near Atlanta, the network announced.

McClure was 48.

No cause of death has been announced.

A member of the network's NFL coverage team since 2013, McClure covered the Atlanta Falcons beat, highlighted by their Super Bowl LI run in 2017. Previous to that, he covered the Chicago Bears across six seasons for the Chicago Tribune, according to ESPN.

"We all loved Vaughn," ESPN senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage John Pluym said in a statement to ESPN. "He had a heart of gold. He was so helpful to our reporters. In the last few hours, we've heard so many stories about how Vaughn had helped them with a story or how he put in a good word for them with a coach or player."

McClure, who graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1994, was a Chicago native, according to ESPN.

The stunning news of McClure's death brought about an immediate outpouring of condolences and sadness from those within the NFL world and NFL media community.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN's Vaughn McClure," Atlanta Falcons team president Rich McKay said in a team statement. "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."

The Bears also offered their thoughts: "Saddened by this loss and sending our sincere condolences."

"So sorry to hear this," NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy tweeted. "Vaughn was such a classy gentleman and a pleasure to work with. He will be greatly missed by the many friends and colleagues whose lives he touched and made better."

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