Southern Miss Legendary Punter & NFL Hall of Famer Ray Guy Passes at 73

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss family mourns today following the passing of Golden Eagle great Ray Guy, who died Thursday morning following a lengthy illness.

Considered by many as the “greatest punter of all time,” Guy took the final step of his football journey by being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Guy, whose majestic punts helped coin the phrase “hang time,” played for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders from 1973-1986 and was the first punter to ever be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft with the 23rd pick overall.

The six-time All-Pro selection and seven-time Pro Bowl selection played in all 207 games during his 14-year NFL career and appeared in three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII) marking the most victories by a punter in NFL history.

He is tied for the fifth longest service with the Raiders, along with Fred Biletnikoff (1965-78), Cliff Branch (1972-85) and Dave Dalby (1972-85), while he also is fifth for games played with Art Shell (1968-78).

Guy holds the Raiders record for most career punts (1,049) and led the NFL three times in gross punt average. In addition, he had 210 punts inside the 20-yard line (not counting his first three seasons, when the NFL did not keep track of this stat), with just 128 touchbacks. He closed out his career with a streak of 619 consecutive punts without a block.

John Madden, former Oakland Raiders’ head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer, referred to Guy as “The best punter I’ve ever known.” He also said, “When we first drafted him, it was a heck of a choice. I thought then he could be the greatest in the league, but I changed my mind. I think Ray proved he’s the best of all time.”

The Thomson, Ga.,

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