DURHAM, N.C. -- Bob Matheson, a key member of the "No Name" defense that led the Miami Dolphins to three straight Super Bowls in the early 1970s, has died after a long battle with Hodgkin's disease. He was 49.
Matheson died yesterday at Duke University Hospital.
A first-team All-American for Duke in 1966, Matheson was a first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns.
He joined the Dolphins in 1971 and was a key member of the "53 Defense," named for his uniform number, which helped Miami get to three straight Super Bowls, the Dolphins winning in 1973-74.
Matheson stayed with Miami through the 1979 season, then returned to Duke as an assistant coach under Red Wilson.
He continued coaching even after he was diagnosed with cancer, working for John Gutekunst at Minnesota from 1983 to 1988, but then returned to Durham to work for the cancer research center there.