One of the coaches who helped lead the Detroit Lions to their only postseason victory in the Super Bowl era has passed away. Woody Widenhofer, the defensive coordinator for the Lions during that great 1991 season, died on Monday. He was 77.
Widenhofer was the Lions defensive coordinator from 1989-1992. He gained his coaching fame as the linebackers coach and then coordinator for the Steel Curtain defenses in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and early 1980s, then followed that with a successful stint as Missouri’s head coach.
His Lions defenses were hit-and-miss, but the 1991 unit was a big hit. They forced four or more takeaways in five separate games, including the playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Ball and Chris Spielman were both first-team All-Pros for the only time in their respective careers under Widenhofer.
Our thoughts and fond memories are with the Widenhofer family.