Thad Madden was born in Culpepper County, Virginia in 1916, where he participated in track because his high school did not have a football coach. Track was his only competitive sport at Virginia State, however he picked up the rudiments of coaching three sports, including football, track, and basketball. Following his graduation from Virginia State in 1943, he became football coach at Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia. He ended his coaching career at Warwick High School, where illness forced his retirement.
Madden had 28 straight winning seasons in football compiling a 251-114-16 record. His Huntington teams won 16 VIA eastern District titles and 7 VIA state championships. Nine of his players including Bennie McRae of the Chicago Bears and Earl Faison of the San Diego Chargers went into the AFL and NFL. His track and field squads won 19 VIA state championships and were declared 7 times runner-ups when black schools integrated with the Virginia High School League. He coached basketball only four seasons but he produced three VIA Eastern District titlists and an unbelievable 112-13 record.
Thad Madden died on December 29, 1984 in Newport News, Virginia. He will always be remembered as one of VirginiaÕs greatest high school coaches.