HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) announced the passing of Ray Guy, who died on Thursday, Nov. 3 following a lengthy illness. He was 72.
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 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).
The Georgia native is also a member of the Bay Area, College Football, Southern Miss M-Club, Mississippi, Georgia and National High School Sports Hall of Fames.
While at Southern Miss, Guy was a defensive back in addition to his role at punter. He still holds the single-season school record for most interceptions with eight in 1972, along with Billy Devrow (1965) and Bubba Phillips (1949). His career records include holding the longest punting average in school history of 44.7 yards, while still holding down second in career interceptions with 18.
Following his playing days, Guy worked at his alma mater as the Director of the M-Club and Community Relations. His work with the M-Club included maintaining a relationship with the school’s former athletic letterwinners. He later worked as part of the USM Alumni Association.
Following enshrining into the Pro Football Hall of fame, the University dedicated the street in front of its athletic building, The Duff Athletic Center, to Ray Guy Way in the summer of 2015.
His funeral arrangements are pending at this time.