Former Bengals coach Bill Johnson dies

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 6:14 PM ET

Cincinnati, OH - Former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Bill "Tiger" Johnson passed away Friday morning at the age of 84 in Fort Myers, Florida.

Legendary head coach Paul Brown hand-picked Johnson as his successor when the founder of the franchise stepped down after the 1975 campaign.

An original member of Brown's coaching staff in 1968, Johnson took over the reigns in 1976 and compiled an 18-15 record before being let go when the team opened the 1978 season with five straight losses.

Johnson returned to the team as tight ends coach in 1985 under head coach Sam Wyche. He remained in that role until retiring following the 1990 season.

"Tiger was admired and respected by all during the length of his tenure with the Bengals," president Mike Brown said. "He was a man's man in every way -- strong, firm and yet lovable at the same time. I could talk for hours about his time here, and his loss hits me in the heart."

Johnson is survived by his wife, three children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


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