Pro Football Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy has died at the age of 72, the National Football League and the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
According to his alma mater the University of Southern Mississippi, Guy died Thursday morning following a lengthy illness.
Considered by many to be the greatest punter of all time, Guy won three Super Bowls with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders and was named to seven Pro Bowls in his 14-year career.
“Fittingly, much was written when Ray Guy was enshrined in Canton about how his election as the first true punter created a ‘full roster’ of players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Too often overlooked, however, was the man behind his powerful right leg,” Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said in a statement.
“Ray was a warm, humble Southern gentleman who represented the game, the Raiders organization and the Hall of Fame with dignity and class at all times. A truly gifted athlete, he could have been a star in Major League Baseball or pro basketball. Fans of the NFL thank Ray for choosing to focus on football.”
In 1973, Guy became the first punter to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Guy was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 2000, the Ray Guy Award was first awarded to the nation’s best collegiate punter.