Jets punter Curly Johnson, 1961-1969. Photo from www.newyorkjets.com.

Jets punter Curly Johnson, 1961-1969. Photo from www.newyorkjets.com.

John “Curley” Johnson, the Woodrow Wilson High School alum and former New York Jets running back, tight end and punter, died yesterday at age 80.

Johnson was born in Anna and attended Woodrow Wilson before playing college ball at the University of Houston. He was then drafted in 1957 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

He signed with the Titans as a free agent in 1961. Two years later the New York Titans became the Jets.

The Jets posted a story on their website yesterday afternoon celebrating Johnson’s accomplishments with the team.

“Johnson set the franchise gross punting record with a 45.3-yard average in 1965 that wasn’t broken until Robert Malone averaged 45.8 yards per punt in 2012 and Ryan Quigley topped that with a 45.9 in 2014.

And that same ’65 season, Johnson posted a net of 39.7 yards — before the concept of “net average” had been introduced to the game — that wasn’t eclipsed until Quigley’s 39.9 net in 2014.”

Johnson played 110-games for the Titans/Jets. During that time he kicked 534 punts for a 42.5-yard average. He also had 41 carries as a running back for 166 yards, 22 receptions for 196 yards, and two touchdowns.

Johnson passed away at his home in Granbury.


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