Ex-Jets, Robert Morris coach Walton dies at 85

NFL

Joe Walton, the previous New York Jets coach who constructed Robert Morris University‘s soccer program from the bottom up, has died. He was 85.

Robert Morris introduced in an obituary posted on its web site that Walton died Sunday. No reason behind demise was offered.

Walton, a local of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania — the hometown of Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Joe Namath — coached the Jets for seven years and went 53-57-1 whereas main New York to the playoffs twice.

A former NFL tight finish for Washington and the New York Giants, Walton caught 178 passes for two,628 yards and 28 touchdowns in seven seasons. He retired from enjoying after the 1963 season and joined the Giants as a scout two years later. Walton was promoted to vast receivers coach in 1969, a job he would serve for 5 years earlier than going to Washington because the operating backs coach.

Walton grew to become Washington’s offensive coordinator in 1978 and moved to the Jets in the identical position in 1981. He changed Walt Michaels because the Jets’ head coach in 1983 and had one of many extra profitable teaching runs for the franchise with the 2 playoff runs, however he was fired after a 4-12 season in 1989.

“Joe Walton poured his coronary heart into this franchise for 9 seasons,” the Jets stated in a press release. “Becoming a member of us as an offensive coordinator earlier than taking up as the top coach, Joe fielded a few of the franchise’s best offenses and helped the groups to 4 playoff appearances throughout his tenure.

“He was a great man who cared for his gamers and beloved the sport of soccer.”

Walton closed out his NFL teaching profession in Pittsburgh, the place he served because the Steelers’ offensive coordinator for 2 years.

Among the many quarterbacks Walton labored with throughout his NFL profession have been Joe Theismann, Fran Tarkenton, Norm Snead, Ken O’Brien and Richard Todd.

In 1993, Walton was employed as the primary coach in Robert Morris historical past and constructed this system by recruiting gamers, hiring assistants and even shopping for tools for the crew to play in its first season in 1994.

It was the start of a 20-year run throughout which the Colonials gained outright Northeast Convention championships thrice — in 1997, ’99 and 2000 — and shared three others — 1996, ’98 and 2010. Walton additionally led Robert Morris to consecutive ECAC Bowl victories in 1996 and ’97.

Walton completed 114-92-1 on the college, was a four-time convention coach of the 12 months and is one in all just some males to win 50 video games as a head coach in each the NFL and faculty. He was inducted into the varsity’s Corridor of Fame in 2013. The soccer stadium can be named after him.

“Coach Walton took our soccer program from nothing to one thing particular,” Robert Morris senior affiliate athletic director Marty Galosi stated in a press release. “The truth that he constructed it from scratch and gained early on was a bonus. He was an important coach, however he was a greater man in addition to a job mannequin for all the student-athletes and coaches that have been beneath his tutelage. His legacy at RMU will final a very long time.”

The son of former Washington guard Frank “Tiger” Walton, Joe Walton was an All-America choice at tight finish twice on the University of Pittsburgh earlier than being drafted by Washington within the second spherical in 1957.

Walton, who moved again to Beaver Falls in 1990, was married for 47 years earlier than spouse Ginger died in 2007. They’d three kids — daughters Jodi and Stacy, and son Joe — and 6 grandchildren. Walton is also survived by his second spouse, Patty Sheehan Walton.

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