We have sad news for all long-time fans of the Jets, which in this case means fans of the Titans of New York. Guard Bob Mischak, the very first all-star in franchise history, died this morning in Orinda, CA, at the age of 81.
Mischak was a New York area athlete from the start. He was born in Newark, NJ, and played scholastically at Union (NJ) High School — which made him part of the inaugural induction into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
For his college football, he went to Army — recruited to go there by then assistant coach Vince Lombardi — and broke into the pros with the Giants in 1958 before coming to the Titans.
He was the Titans' left guard, wearing uniform No. 67, and their captain in 1960. And at the end of the Navy & Gold's inaugural season, he was the only player to receive postseason honors when he was named an AFL All-Star.
There was no American Football League all-star game that first year, but Mischak was voted an All-Star again in 1961 and 1962 and played in those postseason games along with five teammates — QB Al Dorow, RB Bill Mathis and S Dick Felt in '61 and RB Dick Christy and LB Larry Grantham in '62.
Mischak concluded his playing days with the Oakland Raiders from 1963-65, then turned to coaching. He was offensive line coach at Army, then coached tight ends with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders.
During his Silver & Black tenure the Raiders made the playoffs 10 times, won six division titles, appeared in six AFC Championship Games and won three Super Bowls, after the 1976, '80 and '83 seasons. One of the players he coached, Dave Casper, went on to become a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
Following the Raiders, Mischak coached the Arena Football League's LA franchise, spent a season as a head coach in the Italian Federation of American Football, and worked in London for a few seasons as part of the NFL's World League of American Football.
Ultimately he and his wife, Doris, settled in Orinda, just up the road from Oakland. He and his wife, Doris, had twins, son Bob Jr. and daughter Kathleen. Bob is married to his wife, Melissa. Kathleen and her husband have two children. Doris passed away in 2009.
Despite Mischak's NFL and international connections in his later years, his son captured it well this afternoon by writing us: "An AFL original has moved on."
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Bob's name can be made to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter. Click here for the shelter's website.