LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The annual award for the best punter in college is named after him. So that should tell you a little bit about Ray Guy’s propensity for launching footballs with his powerful right leg.
Guy, whose punting average was 42.4 yards in 14 NFL seasons, all with the Raiders, has died after a long illness, according to the NFL. The league announced Guy’s death Thursday on its website. He was 72.
Guy played from 1973 to 1986 and was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection. He also was picked for the NFL’s 100th anniversary team. He led the league in punting three times and was second two other times.
Guy, who won three Super Bowl rings with the Raiders, went to college at Southern Mississippi, and in 1973 he was the first punter to be picked in the first round of the NFL draft.
“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,” said Jim Porter, Pro Football Hall of Fame president, in a statement.
Porter called Guy a gifted athlete who could have played professionally in baseball and basketball. Guy also was a defensive back in college and still holds the single-season school record at Southern Mississippi for most interceptions with eight.
“Fans of the NFL thank Ray for choosing to focus on football,” Porter said.
In a statement released Thursday, the Raiders acknowledged Guy’s accomplishments and said, “The prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with the Guy family at this time.”