Walt Corey, a longtime player and assistant coach in the NFL, died Sunday. The Bills and Chiefs announced Corey’s death on Tuesday.
Corey signed with the Dallas Texans of the American Football League in 1960 after going undrafted out of the University of Miami. The Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs in 1963, which ended up being Corey’s best career season.
The linebacker earned AFL All-Star honors.
Corey was part of the Chiefs’ AFL title teams in 1962 and 1966.
He played 69 games and made 39 starts.
“My family and I are saddened by the news of Walt Corey’s passing,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “An original Dallas Texan who joined the club in 1960, Walt was part of the formative years of the franchise. After his seven-year playing career, he went on to spend an additional 12 years coaching for the Chiefs. He remained invested in the Kansas City community as an Ambassador once he left the sideline and will be remembered for his determination and humility. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Corey went on to coach in the NFL for 26 seasons. He was the Chiefs defensive coordinator in 1986 before leaving for Buffalo, where he directed the Bills defense from 1987-94.
The swizzle-stick-chewing defensive coordinator helped the Bills to four AFC titles from 1990-93.
“It was my great privilege to have first met – and then hired – Walt, at that time a former star player with the Kansas City Chiefs, when I was hired as coach of the Chiefs in 1978,” former Bills head coach Marv Levy said in a statement. “His work ethic, his knowledge of the game, his caring about his fellow staff members, about the players he was coaching, about the fans, and about the game we all loved were just some of Walt’s fine qualities.
“When I was hired as head coach of the Buffalo Bills, it was Walt Corey whom I hired to be the Defensive Coordinator of those Buffalo Bills teams that he helped propel to those four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990’s. Walt Corey will be missed, and he will always be fondly remembered.”
Corey had one final season as a defensive coordinator, working for the Memphis Maniax of the XFL in 2001.