Joe Walton, who coached the New York Jets for seven seasons, died Sunday, his former college football program announced. He was 85.
A seven-year NFL veteran for Washington and the New York Giants, Walton rose through the coaching ranks after his playing days and took over the Jets in 1983 after two seasons as the team’s offensive coordinator. He guided the team to a pair of playoff appearances in 1985 and 1986, but was fired in 1989 after a 4-12 season.
As a coach, Walton had a hand in the NFL careers of Rich Kotite, Bud Carson, Joe Theismann, Fran Tarkenton, Norm Snead, Ken O’Brien and Richard Todd at different stops. He held a 53-57-1 record with the Jets.
The Jets released a statement Sunday recognizing Walton’s accomplishments.
After Walton’s NFL career, he turned to the college ranks and took over the newly created football team at Robert Morris, which he would coach for nearly two decades until his retirement in 2013.
He held a 115-92-1 record at RMU, with six conference championships and an undefeated season in 2000.
News of Walton’s death triggered an outpouring of emotion from both his NFL and college acquaintances:
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