Former San Diego State and Chargers football coach Don Coryell was memorialized Monday by about 3,000 former players, coaching colleagues and fans during a moving and often humorous service on the SDSU campus.

Some wearing the black and red of of the San Diego State Aztecs, others wearing the blue and gold of the San Diego Chargers, they filed into Viejas Arena to honor the man many remember for his "I" formation and the creation of the modern passing game.

"In your life, you meet people who have such a profound impact on your life," said former Charger Kellen Winslow, who played under the leadership of Coryell for several years. "Coach Coryell was one of those people for me."

Before the ceremony, Hall of Fame Coach and Television Analyst John Madden described the impact Madden had on his life.

"He got me started really, I was at Hancock College and Don hired me back 40 years ago," Madden said. "I learned everything from him. I learned how to be a head coach."

Standing before the crowd, Madden became choked up as he talked about the luminaries there to honor their "Coach". He said that he, Dan Fouts and Joe Gibbs were all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of Coryell. He added, "Something's missing." Referring to the fact that Coryell had yet to receive the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.

Jim Hanifan, who played under Coryell and later coached under him at San Diego State and the St. Louis Cardinals said he was something special.

"The man was all by himself, I think, with what he has done and did for the game," Hanifan said. "It will always stand the test of time."

Part tribute, part religious service, part history lesson and part roast, the service was filled with stories of Coryell's love for the game.

"I think one of the things that set Don apart was his passion," said Hall of Fame Coach Joe Gibbs. "Truly I have not been around anybody...Don had the greatest passion I have ever withnessed in football."

The Chargers quarterback under the dynamic man who was also know as "Air Coryell", Hall of Fame QB Dan Fouts also mentioned the Hall of Fame and Coryell's need to be recognized there. But he said even without the award, Coryell's legacy would live on.

"It's the life that Don led, how he lived...the people he touched," said Fouts. "And the extraordinary memories and feelings he leaves us with that will be his legacy."