Former Jets coach Walt Michaels, architect of Super Bowl 3 upset, dies at 89

Walt Michaels, a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker and former Jets head coach who was a key figure in one of pro football’s biggest upsets, died Wednesday, his daughter confirmed (via the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader). He was 89.

Michaels, who played 11 seasons in the NFL, became a coach after his retirement as a player and was the Jets’ defensive coordinator in their stunning victory over the Colts in Super Bowl 3, the first time the AFL defeated the NFL in the young championship.

His defense held the 13-1 Colts to a lone touchdown in what became a 16-7 victory for Joe Namath and the Jets, who entered the game as 18-point underdogs.

Michaels’ defenses – as a coordinator and later the Jets’ head coach – were a reflection of the man himself.

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