Vaughn McClure, ESPN NFL reporter, dies at 48 - Sports Illustrated

ESPN Falcons beat reporter Vaughn McClure died at his home in the Atlanta area this week, the network announced Thursday. He was 48.

The cause of his death was not released.

McClure joined ESPN in 2013 and was most recently the Falcons reporter for NFL Nation, contributing to ESPN's television, radio and digital coverage.

"We all loved Vaughn," John Pluym, senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage at ESPN, said in an ESPN release. "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."

Falcons president Rich McKay released a statement following the news of McClure's death, saying, "We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN's Vaughn McClure."

"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."

McClure came to ESPN after working as a Bears beat writer for the Chicago Tribune. He also worked at the Chicago Sun-Times, Fresno Bee and South Bend Tribune, among other outlets. A Chicago native, McClure graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1994.