sunny.png
Thursday September 23rd, 2021 5:14PM

Bill Mathis, original member of Jets franchise, dies at 81

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Bill Mathis, a versatile running back and an original member of the New York Jets franchise, has died. He was 81.

The team announced Mathis' death Tuesday on Wednesday night. There was no cause of death given, but the team said Mathis had long been dealing with several health issues.

Mathis played his entire career in New York, joining the then-Titans in 1960 and helping the Jets win the Super Bowl in 1969 before retiring after the following season. He was the franchise's first team MVP in 1961 and was selected an AFL All-Star in 1961 and '63.

Mathis rushed for 3,589 yards and 37 touchdowns in 10 seasons, and caught 149 passes for 1,775 yards and nine scores.

“Thank you for the memories,” former Jets teammate Earl Christy posted on his Facebook page. "Rest well, Bill, my teammate, my friend ... May God bless your family during this time.”

Mathis was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and grew up in Manchester, Georgia. He was a star at Clemson, where he is a member of the school's hall of fame. Mathis is also in the Georgia and South Carolina sports halls of fame.

He was drafted by both the AFL's Denver Broncos and the NFL's San Francisco 49ers in 1960. His draft rights were later held by the Houston Oilers, who traded him to New York shortly before the start of the regular season.

Mathis earned a reputation for being a tough competitor who pushed through injuries. He played in 140 games over the next 10 seasons for the Titans/Jets franchise, including the team's lone Super Bowl appearance during the 1968 season. Mathis was also quarterback Joe Namath's roommate on the road.

After being a primary ballcarrier early in his career, Mathis became a lead blocker for Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer. Mathis had three catches for 20 yards in the Super Bowl, with two of them prolonging scoring drives in the Jets' 16-7 victory over the Colts.

He played one more season before retiring as one of only 20 players who played in the AFL for the league's entire 10-year existence. Mathis was also one of just seven who played all 10 seasons with one franchise.

He remained in New York after his playing career and found success in the business world.

Former Jets public relations director Frank Ramos told the team's website that Mathis was “a real Southern gentleman, a very smart businessman, with a very good sense of humor, who had a long career on Wall Street and as a philanthropist.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2nd group of judges blocks Trump order on House seats count
For the second time in two months, a panel of federal judges has blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted during the process of divvying up congressional seats by state
12:48PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Sudanese officials: Diplomatic deal with Israel is near
Sudanese officials have confirmed that a senior U.S.-Israeli delegation flew to Sudan on a private jet this week to wrap up a deal that would make Sudan the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel this year
12:46PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Trump posts unedited '60 Minutes' interview before it airs
President Donald Trump has posted his full, unedited interview with “60 Minutes” on Facebook before the show’s scheduled Sunday broadcast
12:43PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Man U's Rashford keeps pressure on government to feed kids
Soccer star Marcus Rashford’s campaign to feed poor students has sparked a partisan political battle that makes scoring goals for Manchester United seem trivial by comparison
12:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
Vikings trade DE Yannick Ngakoue to Ravens for draft picks
The Minnesota Vikings have traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens for draft picks
11:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
Tide goes for 14th straight in 'Third Saturday in October'
The “Third Saturday in October” rivalry between No. 2 Alabama and Tennessee actually falls on the fourth weekend of the month
11:11AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Falcons' Morris doesn't look at himself as an interim coach
Raheem Morris would prefer that everyone stay away from that “I” word
6:25PM ( 19 hours ago )
Wright leads Villanova through COVID-19, early injuries
Villanova coach Jay Wright says it's 50-50 the college basketball season can make it without cancellations or severe disruptions
5:55PM ( 19 hours ago )
Raiders send starting O-line home after Brown's COVID test
The Las Vegas Raiders sent all five starting offensive linemen home as part of coronavirus contact tracing after right tackle Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list with a positive test
5:10PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Road to 270: Trump's best path to victory hinges on FL, PA
President Donald Trump still has a path to the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win reelection
7:58AM ( 5 hours ago )
Coca-Cola recovery continues a it grows leaner in pandemic
The Coca-Cola Co. said it saw gradual improvement in the third quarter, as it turned its focus to emerging leaner from the global pandemic
7:46AM ( 5 hours ago )
Trump grants clemency to five backed by ally Alice Johnson
President Donald Trump has granted clemency to five people convicted of committing drug and financial crimes
7:50PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
The Latest: Panthers put Slye, 3rd OL on COVID-19 list
The Carolina Panthers have added kicker Joey Slye and offensive tackle Trent Scott to the COVID-19/reserve list, bringing their total number of players on the list to four
11:44AM ( 1 day ago )
Flores: Decision to replace Fitzpatrick with Tua was tough
Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores says he regrets that his players found out about the team’s switch to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa through social media rather than from him
9:58AM ( 1 day ago )
AP source: Tagovailoa replaces Fitzpatrick as Miami starter
A person familiar with the decision says Tua Tagovailoa will make his first NFL start next week for the Miami Dolphins, who are turning to him to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback
6:24PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
2nd group of judges blocks Trump order on House seats count
For the second time in two months, a panel of federal judges has blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted during the process of divvying up congressional seats by state
12:48PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Sudanese officials: Diplomatic deal with Israel is near
Sudanese officials have confirmed that a senior U.S.-Israeli delegation flew to Sudan on a private jet this week to wrap up a deal that would make Sudan the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel this year
12:46PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Trump posts unedited '60 Minutes' interview before it airs
President Donald Trump has posted his full, unedited interview with “60 Minutes” on Facebook before the show’s scheduled Sunday broadcast
12:43PM ( 45 minutes ago )
US jobless claims drop to 787,000, but layoffs remain high
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 787,000, a sign that job losses may have eased slightly but are still running at historically high levels
12:40PM ( 48 minutes ago )
GOP-led Senate panel advances Barrett despite Dems' boycott
The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate
12:35PM ( 53 minutes ago )