Ray Guy, Only Punter in the NFL Hall of Fame, Dead At 72

There’s only one punter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it’s Ray Guy.

On Thursday, Guy’s alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi, announced that he had died at the age of 72.

“The Southern Miss family mourns today following the passing of Golden Eagle great Ray Guy, who died Thursday morning following a lengthy illness,” the school said in a statement.

The Swainsboro, Georgia, native played for the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles from 1970 through 1972.

In 1973, Guy became the first punter ever selected in the NFL draft when the Oakland Raiders selected him 23rd overall.

From there, Guy played his entire career with the Raiders in both Oakland and Los Angeles from 1973 to 1986. He was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams and was a 7-time Pro Bowl-er.

Guy pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line a whopping 210 times. He averaged 43.4 yards per punt and booted a career-long 77-yarder in 1980.

Ray Guy and John Madden
Ray Guy and John Madden at Guy’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2014. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Guy Received Numerous Honors and Accolades

Guy played part of his career under John Madden, and the legendary coach spoke at Guy’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2014.

“The first time I laid eyes on him is when we first brought him to practice. And he started to punt, and he punted the longest, highest footballs that I had ever seen, and I said, ‘OK, that’s enough,” Madden recalled. “You know, I didn’t want to tire his leg out or have him get injured.

“And he said ‘Coach, I’m just warming up,’ and I thought ‘Holy moly, just warming up?’ And I knew right then, at that moment, that he was going to be special.”

Guy was also named to the NFL’s All-70s team and was honored as part of both the NFL 75th and 100th-Anniversary All-Time teams.

Additionally, the top punter in college football Receives the Ray Guy Award.

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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