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Joe Walton, Head Coach Who Took Jets To Playoffs Twice In 1980s, Dies At Age 85

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Former New York Jets head coach Joe Walton has died. He was 85.

His passing was announced Sunday by Robert Morris University, where Walton was head football coach from 1994-2013.

Walton went 53-57-1 over seven seasons as Jets head coach, guiding them to the playoffs in 1985 and 1986. His regular season win total is second only to Pro Football Hall of Famer Weeb Ewbank in Jets history.

Walton was fired following a 4-12 season in 1989.

"Joe Walton poured his heart into this franchise for nine seasons," the Jets said in a statement. "Joining us as an offensive coordinator before taking over as the head coach, Joe fielded some of the franchise's most productive offenses and helped the teams to four playoff appearances during his tenure.

"He was a good man who cared for his players and loved the game of football."

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Prior to getting the top job with the Jets, Walton was the team's offensive coordinator under Walt Michaels from 1981-82. He also served as an offensive assistant with the New York Giants (1969-73), Washington Redskins (1974-80) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1991-92).

As a player, Walton was a star tight end at the University of Pittsburgh. He was drafted in the second round in 1957 and played the next four seasons with the Redskins before moving on to the Giants from 1961-64. He finished his NFL career with 178 receptions, 2,628 yards and 28 touchdowns.

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