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Former Jets head coach Walt Michaels dies at 89



Walt MichaelsThe former head coach of the New York Jets died Wednesday, said his daughter at the Wilkes Bar Times-Leader. He was 89 years old.

Michaels spent six seasons with the Jets as the bench leader, accumulating a total of 39-47-1.

His playing career began in 1951 as a seventh-round pick by the Cleveland Browns, but he was traded to the Green Bay Packers prior to his rookie season, where he played one season. From 1952 to 1961, he returned to the Browns where he played the linebacker. Michaels was five times Pro Bowler.

In 1962, his coaching career began with the Oakland Raiders, which lasted only one season before his first tenure in New York, which lasted a decade. Michaels was assistant for one season before playing the role of defensive coordinator. In 1969, Michaels was the Jets' defense chief, helping to win the Super Bowl III win over the Baltimore Colts. The Jets were 18-point underdogs against Baltimore's 13-1 in the historic match, which ended in a 16-7 victory in New York.

From 1973 to 1975, he assumed the role of defensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles, before returning to the Jets in 1976, assuming the same role. In the season that followed, he was promoted to head coach. In his last two seasons at the helm, Michaels helped the Jets qualify twice for the playoffs, including a game for the AFC championship game, defeated 14-0 by the Miami Jets in his last season. He resigned after the season.

Michaels resumed training in the USFL as head coach of the New Jersey Generals for two seasons starting in 1984, where his teams posted a combined record 25-11.

The Michaels family organizes private funeral services.


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