OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) — Rod Rust, who coached Hall of Fame defensive lineman “Mean” Joe Greene at North Texas and later served as defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots’ 1985 Super Bowl team, has died. He was 90.
The Patriots announced Rust’s death Wednesday. He died Tuesday at his home in Ocean City, New Jersey, according to family friend Bobby April.
Rust spent more than four decades as a football coach, mostly as a defensive coordinator in the NFL with Kansas City, New England, Pittsburgh, the New York Giants and Atlanta. He spent one season as an NFL head coach with a Patriots team that went 1-15 in 1990. He also held several coaching jobs in the CFL.
He began his coaching career at the college level, serving as an assistant with New Mexico and Stanford in the early 1960s before landing his first head coaching job at North Texas in 1967. Rust moved to the CFL with Montreal in 1973 and took his first NFL job as linebackers coach with Philadelphia in 1976 under then-new head coach Dick Vermiel.
Rust left the Eagles to become the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator in 1978 and then took over the same post with the Patriots in 1983. Three seasons later, he was part of the first Super Bowl team in Patriots history. That New England team had defeated Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino’s Dolphins in the AFC title game in Miami before falling to the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl 20 in New Orleans.