Harry Vance "Chuck" Muncie (born March 17, 1953 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania) is a former American football running back who played for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers in the National Football League from 1976 to 1984. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times (1980, 1981, 1982).
Early life and career
Muncie was born and raised in a coal-mining Pennsylvania town, as one of six children in a football-playing family. Muncie played during his senior year in high school, before an injury halted his career and he turned to basketball. Muncie got a scholarship to Arizona Wester Junior College (now Arizona Western College). While there, the coach of the football team was sufficiently impressed by Muncie's talent that he convinced him to try out for football as well. Muncie did so, and made the team. He never played basketball for the school but was recruited by the University of California, Berkeley after one year.
Muncie was a star running back for California during the 1970s. He was big, fast and elusive, and was also a good receiver. Muncie set six school rushing records, including most touchdowns and most yards gained in a single season. He was instrumental in Cal's NCAA-leading offense which propelled the team to the co-championship of the Pac-8 in 1975, and he appeared for the first time on the cover of Sports Illustrated. To date (2010), Muncie is the only college player to appear on Sports Illstrated. +Muncie was a strong candidate for the Heisma Trophy and finished second in the voting in 1975 behind Archie Griffin of Ohio State. He was awarded the 1975 W.J. Voit Memorial Trophy as the outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast. After Muncie graduated, the New Orleans Saints selected him in the 1st round of the 1976 NFL Draft with the 3rd overall selection.
Muncie was one of the first players to wear glasses or goggles during games.
Muncie was also an active member of the fraternity Theta Delta Chi, nicknamed the "Chia House," for its noticeable ivy exterior. In Theta Delta Chi, Muncie lived in Grass Hut and then in Ski Hut-- two rooms of the house named after Muncie.
Muncie went to the Pro Bowl and was named the game's MVP after the 1979 season with the Saints, and set numerous records that remain unbroken to date; first player in the history of the Saints selected for "All Pro" and the ONLY player to date (2010) selected as MVP (Saints) for the Probowl (1980). Muncie became the first Saints player ever to reach the 1,000-yard rushing plateau when he ran for 1,198 yards in 1979. But he requested a trade after the 1979 season, alleging a racist atmosphere in New Orleans.
During the 1980 season, Muncie was traded to the San Diego Chargers, where he again was selected for the Pro Bowl twice, including 1981 when he ran for 1,144 yards and an NFL-high 19 touchdowns. He went on to rush for 120 yards and a touchdown San Diego's 41-38 win over the Miami Dolphins in a famous playoff game known as The Epic in Miami, and 94 yards in the AFC title game, known as the Freezer Bowl. Muncie also helped lead the team to two AFC West division championships. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated three times once while he was at University of California, Berkeley and twice while he was with Chargers. He retired at the end of the 1984 season.
Muncie finished his 9 season career with 6,702 rushing yards, 263 receptions for 2,323 yards, 20 kickoff returns for 432 yards, and 74 touchdowns.
After Football Life Experiences
Muncie, like most athletes in that era got caught in the party days of California, that involved use of cocaine. Muncie spent time in federal prison in California for 18 months on cocaine distribution charges, which shaped his future.
After prison, Muncie has dedicated himself to a life of community service. He established his own foundation called the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation. The work of this foundation has been life changing to many, especially the disenfrancised population. He actively participates in his foundation which offers Youth Mentoring, Kids Camp, Tattoo Removal, School Assistance, Immunization for the Uninsured, Wellness Fair, Job Training and an array of other programs. Muncie continues to mentor University of California football players once a year.
Muncie took the fame and glory of his NFL career and the experiences of being incarcerated to shaping the life of today by helping them on making smarter choices, being responsible, not succumbing to peer pressure and thriving on execeling in academia and giving back to society.