Woody Widenhofer has died, the coach's family confirmed on Monday.
A former Missouri linebacker, Widenhofer served as the head coach at his alma mater from 1985-88 and as Vanderbilt's head coach from 1997-01.
Widenhofer rose to prominence as an assistant on Chuck Noll's Pittsburgh Steelers staffs from 1973-83, first as linebackers coach and then as defensive coordinator. He helped the black and gold win four Super Bowl rings, three as linebackers coach and one as coordinator.
That success led him to the United States Football League, where he spent 1984 as the head coach of the Oklahoma Outlaws. The team played just one season in Tulsa, and Widenhofer left afterward to become the head coach at Mizzou. His teams went 12-31-1 in four seasons.
From there, Widenhofer spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions, two as the Cleveland Browns' linebackers coach -- where he worked under head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Nick Saban -- and he returned to the college game as Vanderbilt's defensive coordinator in 1995. He was promoted to head coach in 1997 and went 27-71-1 as the Commodores' head coach from 2001.
Widenhofer spent his final five seasons in coaching as the defensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana and New Mexico State before retiring in 2007.
Widenhofer was 77 years old.
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