New Orleans Saints History: Saints Draft Chuck Muncie

On this day in Saints history, April 8th, 1976, the team selected California running back Chuck Muncie in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Thirty-eight years ago today, the New Orleans Saints drafted a young running back out of California named Chuck Muncie with the third overall pick.

Known for wearing thick black glasses while he played, Muncie was just as fast as he was big. Along with Tony Galbreath, he was one half of the backfield dubbed by then-coach Hank Stram as "Thunder and Lightning." Chuck would play five years for the Saints, including the 1979 season when he ran for a then Saints-record 1,198 yards on his way to his first of three Pro Bowls.

The Saints eventually traded Muncie to the San Diego Chargers for a second round draft pick the following year four games into the 1980 season. The Saints would end up drafting Rickey Jackson with the pick in 1981.

Muncie's career would not end well thanks to a problem with drugs.

Muncie was suspended after Week 1 in 1984 after testing positive for cocaine. He was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1985 after being reinstated from his suspension but never played another NFL game.

In 1989, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for selling cocaine. He turned things around later in his life, however, and worked with at-risk children and counseled people battling drug addiction.

But his time in prison proved a turning point in Muncie's life.

After that, he pursued business interests and began telling of his drug problems in meetings with youths who were at risk. In 1997 he created the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation, based in Antioch, Calif.

Sadly, Muncie died in of a heart attack on May 13, 2013. He was just 60 years old.

Below are Muncie's career stats during his five seasons with the Saints.

Rushing Receiving
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G YScm RRTD Fmb AV
1976 23 NOR FB 42 12 11 149 659 2 51 4.4 54.9 12.4 31 272 8.8 0 33 2.6 22.7 931 2 6 8
1977 24 NOR RB 42 14 11 201 811 6 36 4.0 57.9 14.4 21 248 11.8 1 35 1.5 17.7 1059 7 3 11
1978 25 NOR RB 42 13 11 160 557 7 28 3.5 42.8 12.3 26 233 9.0 0 34 2.0 17.9 790 7 7 6
1979* 26 NOR RB 42 16 15 238 1198 11 69 5.0 74.9 14.9 40 308 7.7 0 28 2.5 19.3 1506 11 8 15
NOR rb 42 4 3 40 168 2 24 4.2 42.0 10.0 7 25 3.6 0 8 1.8 6.3 193 2 1 1
5 yrs NOR 59 51 788 3393 28 69 4.3 57.5 13.4 125 1086 8.7 1 35 2.1 18.4 4479 29 25 41
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