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Mike Kolen, member of undefeated Dolphins Super Bowl team, dead at 76

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Mike Kolen, who played linebacker for the undefeated Miami Dolphins Super Bowl team, has died, his alma mater Auburn University announced on Wednesday. He was 76.

The Dolphins selected Kolen in the 12th round of the 1970 draft out of Auburn, where he was a two-time All-SEC selection and earned the nickname "Captain Crunch." He ended up playing seven seasons in Miami before retiring after the 1977 season.

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Miami Dolphins linebacker Mike Kolen against the New England Patriots in Massachusetts, Dec. 5, 1971. (Dick Raphael-USA Today Sports)

"Mike Kolen is one of the finest men I've ever known," former Auburn athletics director David Housel said in a press release. "Being a football player was secondary to Mike Kolen. He's one of the greatest football players Auburn ever had, but he was much more. A rock, a beacon.

"When I think of Mike Kolen, I think of toughness, competitiveness, and a quality of goodness. He was a great football player, but he was a better man."

Kolen played 84 games for the Dolphins and had five interceptions in that span.

Billy Kilmer of the Washington Redskins gets sacked by Mike Kolen of the Miami Dolphins during Super Bowl VII at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Jan. 14, 1973. (Dick Raphael-USA Today Sports)

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He was not only on the lone undefeated 1972 Dolphins team, but was on the team that won the Super Bowl in 1973 as well.

Kolen was also a part of one of the most famous plays in NFL history, The Palm Beach Post noted. 

Known as the "Sea of Hands"

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