EDITOR’S NOTE: Vaughn McClure, who joined ESPN in 2013 and contributed to many platforms, died unexpectedly in his home near Atlanta. He was 48. ESPN Digital Media Executive Editor Lauren Reynolds shared the following on ESPN’s employee website, Inside ESPN.
I share this update with great sadness. Our colleague Vaughn McClure unexpectedly passed away at home.
In remembering Vaughn, ESPN senior deputy editor John Pluym shared this with me: “We all loved Vaughn. 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.
“When he was in Bristol for our summits, you always knew you could count on a big hug from Vaughn. And talking to Vaughn on the phone was always a joy. I loved how you could just sense the excitement in his voice for being able to cover the Falcons for ESPN. We will all miss him greatly. And I’ll end this the way Vaughn ended every phone call with a colleague: ‘Appreciate you. Love you.’ We all loved him, too.”
Patricia Mays, ESPN senior director of content strategy and distribution, was the person who hired Vaughn. She recalled how much he loved covering sports and being a part of this company.
“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,” she noted.
“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.’”
Vaughn joined ESPN in 2013 as one of the founding members of our NFL Nation team. With excellence and dedication, he covered the Atlanta Falcons for the past eight seasons and documented their 2017 Super Bowl LI run.
A respected contributor to ESPN’s many platforms, Vaughn wrote for ESPN.com year-round, while also appearing on SportsCenter, NFL Live, and ESPN Radio.
Prior to his time at ESPN, Vaughn wrote for the Chicago Tribune, serving as the Chicago Bears beat writer and helping cover the Chicago Bulls’ postseason appearances. He was a native of Chicago and an alumnus of Northern Illinois University.
My thoughts are with Vaughn’s loved ones and my colleagues – most especially our NFL Nation reporters and editors who worked so closely with Vaughn.
ESPN’s NFL Nation Reporter for the Atlanta Falcons, Vaughn McClure, died at his apartment in Atlanta. What a nice man he was. McClure was 48. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/2bjwwKUjhH
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2020
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 15, 2020