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Joe Walton, Beaver Falls & Pitt Great, RMU Coach, Dies at 85

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A legendary football name from Western Pennsylvania has passed away, as Beaver Falls native Joe Walton has died at the age of 85.

Walton started his long playing and coaching career at the University of Pittsburgh in 1953. While at Pitt, Walton was named an All-American in in 1955 and 1956. During his senior season, Walton was selected as a co-captain as well as being named to the Academic All-American team.

Following his college career, Walton was drafted in the second round (14th overall pick) of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. Walton went on to play eight seasons in with Washington (1957-60) and the New York Jets (1961-64). Walton finished his pro career with 2,628 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Following his playing career, Walton transitioned into coaching starting as a scout and wide receivers coach with the New York Giants before moving over to Washington as their running backs coach (1974-77) before getting his first chance as an offensive coordinator with Washington (1978-80) and the Jets (1981-82).

Walton received his first and only chance as an NFL head coach with the Jets, where he served from 1983-89 and finished with a career record of 54-59.

Walton returned to Western Pennsylvania to finish his coaching career serving as the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers (1990-91) before becoming instrumental in the start up of the Robert Morris football program. He served as head coach from 1994-2013.

Robert Morris inducted Walton into their Hall of Fame in 2013 and then named their football stadium after him.

Walton’s longtime wife of 47 years, Ginger, passed way in 2007. He is survived by his three children, Jodi, Joe and Stacy.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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