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The Tragic Death Of NFL Star Punter Ray Guy

Nicki Swift 11/3/2022 Kayla Rivera
Ray Guy giving a speech © Jason Miller/Getty Images Ray Guy giving a speech

National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer Ray Guy, who was widely known as a legendary punter, has died according to confirmation from the University of Southern Mississippi. The university, which was also his alma mater, revealed the athlete was suffering from an unnamed ongoing illness and unfortunately died of the disease. He was 72 years old. 

Guy was a star defensive back at the school and according to the university site, he "still holds the single-season school record for most interceptions with eight in 1972." After leaving college, he was picked up in the 1973 NFL draft and made history as the first punter to get drafted in the first round, according to ESPN. Guy was highly respected and even had a street renamed in his honor in 2015 at the Southern Miss campus called "Ray Guy Way.''

"Now that I've made it, I know that from a standpoint of opening eyes and avenues for other punters and all that, it's going to be a big thing down the road," he said during an interview with Pro Football Hall of Fame. Guy paved the way for every punter who came after him, and although he is no longer here, his legacy will live on for decades to come. 

Ray Guy Was 'Honored' To Be Inducted Into The Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Ray Guy being interviewed © YouTube Ray Guy being interviewed

Ray Guy, who is one of several celebrities who died in 2022, played in the NFL for more than a decade and spent his entire career with the Raiders. Known as one of the greatest punters of all time, Guy and his team made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 1976, 1980, and 1983, per WKBN. Even after his retirement in 1986, Guy continued to be a force in the sports world and once again made history as the first punter to get inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, according to Yahoo! Sports

10 years after that major accomplishment, Guy was then inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 after being snubbed repeatedly from 1992 to 2008. "I have finally made it," he said during his speech. "Even though there will be no more games to play, records to set, or championships to win, to be a part of this very special clubhouse called the Pro Football Hall of Fame and knowing it's forever, it's beyond my wildest dreams."

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