Curley Johnson, punter on Super Bowl III-winning Jets, dies at 80

Former punter Curley Johnson, a member of theNew York Jets' Super Bowl III-winning team, died on Sunday, the team announced. He was 80.

Johnson was one of the best punters in team history, as he held the franchise record for gross punting average for nearly 50 years, but he will be remembered for helping the Jets to their only Super Bowl championship.

His final punt in Super Bowl III came with 15 seconds left in the game, with the Jets on the verge of a stunning 16-7 upset of the Baltimore Colts.

Johnson, a 1957 draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, joined the New York Titans in 1961. They became known as the Jets in 1963. He was one of only four Titans who remained with the franchise through its Super Bowl win. Even though he was primarily a punter, Johnson was regarded as a team leader.

Johnson was released in 1969 and caught on with the New York Giants, but he lasted only five games. Early in his career, he also played running back and tight end. He finished with 166 rushing yards and 22 receptions in his career. One of his highlights was catching a 6-yard scoring pass from Joe Namath in 1965.

Johnson died at his home in Granbury, Texas, one day after celebrating his 61st wedding anniversary with his wife, Janet. Johnson, who wore No. 33 throughout his career, died at 3:33 p.m., according to the Jets.

He became the second former Super Bowl III member to die in the past two months. Offensive tackle Winston Hill died in April.

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