Former Dolphins two-time Super Bowl champ Mike Kolen dies at 76

Mike Kolen was one of the legendary NFL players, who played on one of the best defenses of all time. He played all seven years of his career with the Dolphins and was famously known as “Captain Crunch.”

Today is a day of mourning for both the Dolphins and the NFL world as they bid farewell to their most iconic player.

Dolphins legend Mike Kolen passed away at 76

The NFL linebacker Mike Kolen passed away at the age of 76 this Wednesday. Kolen’s alma mater Auburn University announced that he died on April 3. He was a starter on defense for back-to-back Dolphins Super Bowl champs and even started 16 games during the Dolphins’ 17-0 season in 1972.

Kolen used to play with the team in the early 1970s and won two Super Bowls during his legendary career. Interestingly, he will only be remembered as a Dolphins legendary player as unlike other players he didn’t play with multiple teams.


His passing has created a void not only for the Dolphins, who are working hard on their roster for the upcoming season, but also for the whole league as he was considered one of the most iconic NFL players in the 1970s and created a strong legacy in the football world.

Mike Kolen’s legendary legacy revisited

Despite being a 12th-round pick, Mike Kolen quickly rose to prominence as a starting member of the Miami Dolphins’ defense. He became an immediate starter upon his arrival in Miami, coinciding with the tenure of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.

The LB played a crucial role in the Dolphins’ three consecutive Super Bowl appearances from 1971 to 1973. During the 1971 playoffs, he recorded 11 tackles and an interception. In the 1972 playoffs, he contributed another interception as the Miami Dolphins achieved a perfect season.

Mike Kolen retired from football after the 1977 season, having spent his entire professional career with the Miami Dolphins and winning two back-to-back Super Bowls. Prior to his NFL career, he had a successful college career at Auburn University. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

Mike Kolen
Via People

In 2017, Mike Kolen revealed his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, which he believed was a result of playing football. Despite his health struggles, he maintained a positive outlook.

“I don’t blame football. Football’s a great sport. It’s taught me so many values in life. I consider it a privilege to play football, especially for Auburn and the Miami Dolphins. I wouldn’t give anything for that. It was such a terrific opportunity. I have no regrets whatsoever.”

The LB expressed gratitude for the privilege of playing football for both Auburn and the Miami Dolphins, with no regrets about his career. Kolen’s legacy is marked by his exceptional football prowess, resilience, and passion for football, which will always be an inspiration for new players and football fans.

Maheen Zaib

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Maheen is a writer for SportsZion. She's your go-to for all things NFL, from epic game highlights to trade scoops and breaking news. Navigating the sports scene with flair, join her on this thrilling journey through the NFL's wild ride. Let's score some great reads together!


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