Former Jets Coach Walt Michaels Dies At 89

Alex Greenberg
July 11, 2019 - 3:29 pm

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Former New York Jets coach Walt Michaels has passed away at the age of 89.

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Michaels’ family announced the news on Thursday through the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader. Michaels was the Jets head coach from 1977 until 1982. In his final year with the team he led them to the AFC Championship Game.

Mike Francesa reacted to the passing of Michaels on WFAN Thursday to open his show. 

Born in Swoyersville, Pennsylvania, Michaels was the son of a coal miner, but it was football where he would ultimately make his living. He made five appearances in the Pro Bowl during his ten years as a linebacker with the Cleveland Browns in the 1950s. He also spent time playing with Jets and the Green Bay Packers.

His coaching career began with the Oakland Raiders, and he was then an assistant for the Eagles and the Jets before the latter team named him as their head coach. Michaels finished his time leading the Jets with a record of 39-47-1.

He resigned in the offseason after the Jets lost 14-0 to the Dolphins in that AFC Championship game, which would come to be known as the "Mud Bowl."

A private funeral service has been planned by Michaels’ family.