Walt Michaels: Former New York Jets coach dies aged 89
Last Updated: 11/07/19 11:29pm
Former New York Jets coach Walt Michaels has died aged 89.
According to the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Michaels died on Wednesday in his hometown of Swoyersville in the north-east area of the state.
Michaels had a 39-47-1 record in six seasons as coach of the Jets from 1977-82.
His teams reached the playoffs twice, including losing to the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship Game in the strike-shortened 1982 season. He guided New York to a 10-5-1 record in 1981.
He resigned after the 1982 season, citing the need for a break from football.
Michaels was also defensive co-ordinator of the Jets when they stunned the heavily favoured Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III.
Michaels played for 12 seasons as a linebacker from 1951-63 and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection for the Cleveland Browns.
He had 11 career interceptions in 133 games (127 starts) with the Green Bay Packers (1951), Browns (1952-61) and Jets (one game in 1963).
Jets chairman and chief executive Christopher Johnson released a statement on Thursday saying: "We are very sad to hear about the passing of Walt Michaels.
"Walt was a great leader who inspired players to take their games to another level. A defensive mastermind, he had one of his finest moments when he coordinated our unit in the Super Bowl III victory over the Colts.
"Later as a head coach, Walt led us to back-to-back playoff berths in 1981-82.
"Walt had a tireless work ethic and took an honest approach with his players. He will have a lasting impact on our organisation and our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends."