Former NFL player, head coach Walt Michaels dead at 89

Josh Alper

The daughter of former NFL player and head coach Walt Michaels announced, via the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, that her father died on Wednesday at the age of 89.

Michaels was a seventh-round pick by the Browns in 1951 and was traded to the Packers before the start of his rookie season. He returned to the Browns the next year and played linebacker for Cleveland through the 1961 season. He won two titles and the Browns made it to the championship game five times while Michaels was on the roster. Michaels was also selected for five Pro Bowls.

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Michaels played one more game with the Jets in 1963 while serving as the team’s defensive coordinator and won a Super Bowl ring after helping the team overcome the Colts in Super Bowl III. He moved to the Eagles in the same role from 1973 to 1975 and returned to the Jets in 1976.

He was promoted to head coach the next year and went 39-47-1 over six seasons. The Jets advanced to the AFC Championship Game in 1982, which turned out to be Michaels’s final season with the team as he resigned a short time later.

Michaels would go on to coach the USFL’s New Jersey Generals in 1984 and 1985. The team went 25-11 in those seasons.

Our condolences go out to Michaels’s friends and loved ones.

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