Walt Michaels '51

Walter E. (Walt) Michaels was a member of Washington and Lee's 1950 football team--the first and last squad ever to represent the University in a post-season bowl game. Although the Generals lost to Wyoming 20-7 in that game, the team finished 8-2, winning W&L's first Southern Conference championship since 1934, and is generally considered to be the best football team ever at Washington and Lee.

Walt was outstanding both on defense as a linebacker and on offense as a fullback. In his senior year he carried the ball 119 times for 712 yards (for an average of 6 yards per carry), scored 10 touchdowns, and kicked 29 extra points. He was named second-team All-Southern by United Press International and third-team All-Southern by the Associated Press.

Walt started his professional football career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League, but he gained prominence as a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns. He played with the Browns from 1952 to 1961 and was named All-Pro several times. He later was an assistant coach with the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles before being named head coach of the Jets in 1976. He also served as head coach of the New Jersey Generals in the United States Football League. He is a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.