Oct. 15 (UPI) -- ESPN reporter Vaughn McClure, who covered the Atlanta Falcons, died this week at his home near Atlanta, the network announced Thursday. He was 48.
McClure joined ESPN in 2013 to cover the NFL and eventually took over the Falcons beat as part of NFL Nation. He covered the team during its run to Super Bowl LI in 2017, and he also contributed to ESPN's radio and television coverage of the franchise and the league.
The cause of his death was not released.
"We all loved Vaughn," John Pluym, senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage at ESPN, said in a statement Thursday. "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."
"We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN's Vaughn McClure," McKay said. "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."
Today I was very saddened to hear about the passing of my dear friend Vaughn McClure. We became fast friends when he was covering the Bears. He had a big heart and was one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. You will be missed. RIP HOMIE pic.twitter.com/dzh9v9RIey— Brian Urlacher (@BUrlacher54) October 15, 2020
McClure started working at ESPN after covering the Bears for the Chicago Tribune for six seasons. He also covered the Bulls in the postseason for the newspaper and covered Notre Dame football for the Chicago Sun-Times.
McClure, a Chicago native, graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1994.