Super Bowl Champion, Member Of NFL’s Only Perfect Team Mike Kolen Dies At 76

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Robert McGreevy Contributor
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Mike Kolen, a linebacker on the Miami Dolphins’ perfect 1972 season, passed away at the age of 76, his alma-mater Auburn University confirmed.

Kolen, who earned the nickname “Captain Crunch” for his bone-crushing tackles, won two Super Bowls with the Dolphins, including the title game that culminated Don Shula’s 1972 perfect season.

He was “a man of deep faith” and was the first recipient of the National Christian Athlete of the Year Award in 1969, according to Auburn. (RELATED: After Allegedly Strangling Woman And Evading Police For Three Weeks, Former NFL Player Only Gets Misdemeanor Charge)

“Mike Kolen is one of the finest men I’ve ever known,” former Auburn athletic director David Housel wrote in Auburn’s statement. “Being a football player was secondary to Mike Kolen. He’s one of the greatest football players Auburn ever had, but he was much more. A rock, a beacon. When I think of Mike Kolen, I think of toughness, competitiveness, and a quality of goodness. He was a great football player but he was a better man.”

While the precise cause of death has yet to be revealed, Kolen suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, an affliction he shared with the world in 2017.