BY ARMANDO SALGUERO. Our weight room is named after him.”, “And one of the best athletes that walked through the halls of my alma mater, Waterloo East. Football Players. Fry was hired at Iowa in December 1978, and he immediately made Roby a recruiting priority. Roby set an NCAA season record with a 49.8-yard average. It’s hard to be a great punter. He helped to popularize the now-standard two-step approach and often wore a watch to gauge his hang time. https://www.nytimes.com/1984/12/28/sports/dolphin-punter-exceeds.html", "Continue to Rest in Peace, Reggie, continue to Rest in Peace. Reggie was also given the kick off duties and routinely kicked the ball through the uprights at Iowa, a total of 26 times. The ball would just boom off his foot. He was survived by his wife, Melissa, and six children. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Former punter Reggie Roby, a 16-year NFL veteran and three-time Pro Bowl selection, died Tuesday after being found unconscious at home by his wife. We lost a lot of balls when he was kicking.". “We were playing at Wisconsin and it was a big showdown game, and I remember we had totally sucked on offense that day, and we weren’t that good on offense to begin with,” Patterson said. "All we know is he was getting ready for work this morning, and his oldest son found him in the bathroom," said Mike Roby, Reggie's older brother to the Waterloo Courier. Something would screw up the point production for them. “But one thing we could do was protect the ball and we could flip the field with Reggie as the punter. Getting Reggie helped us convince Iowa kids that playing for the Hawkeyes was a thing to do. He became a legend along the way, and helped to make Hayden Fry a legend. His career average of 45.4 yards ranks among college football's best and is still a school record. Dan Marino. First Name Reggie. His 58.5-yard single-game average on September 28, 1986 remains a Dolphin team record. Iowa hadn’t had a winning season since 1961, so Fry had to convince Roby to take a leap of faith. You are still missed. Roby was so popular with fans that many of them would arrive early for the games at Kinnick Stadium just so they could watch him warmup. Epic fail. He was 43. “And that’s how the game went. Reggie Roby died way too soon, but at least we still have memories and stories about his greatness that will last forever. “I don’t know if that was the deciding factor, but the next day he signed with us. Roby's obituary that ran in the Waterloo Courier included a quote from Roby’s high school coach, Roger Kittleson, about the fact that Roby had to kick toward the south end zone at Sloane Wallace Stadium because of the school buildings located adjacent to the field at the north end zone. Florida), will be Reggie Roby's All-Pro Cookies. The response was overwhelming as one fan after another paid their respects with either a story about Roby’s incredible punting prowess or just a statement recognizing his talent and impact. Most Popular #163744. He then played for the Washington Redskins in 1993 and 1994. He left behind five children and his wife Melissa. Leos. He was a pioneer and a trail blazer as one of the few black punters or kickers to have played in the NFL. His career yards per punt average was 43.3, with a net average of 34.0. Roby helped popularize the now-standard two-step approach and often wore a watch to gauge his hangtime. Football Player Born in Iowa #26. The size and thickness of Roby’s thigh helped to fuel his legend. John Elway. Roby also handled kickoffs while at Iowa and he routinely kicked the ball through the uprights for touchbacks. I think it’s more difficult to be a great punter than it is to be a great kicker, maybe if only because a bunch of guys played soccer and they transitioned in to being a great kicker.”. But he was also coveted by numerous schools, so Fry had to put forth his best sales pitch with help from assistant coach Dan McCarney, who was Roby’s chief recruiter. Iowa desperately needed a punter and Roby was considered one of the top high school punters in the nation. Fry wanted to make a statement that his staff could land a top in-state recruit and he went out of his way to make Roby feel special. [3] He was one of a handful of African American kickers in National Football League history. Reginald Henry "Reggie" Roby (July 30, 1961 – February 22, 2005) was an American college and professional football player who was a punter in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. He led the nation in punting with a 49.8 average that season while constantly shifting field position. “I’ve always said for every great punter, there is about five great kickers,” Patterson said. In the Dolphins 1992 divisional round 31-0 win over the San Diego Chargers, he planted 4 of his 8 punts inside the Chargers 20-yard line, including 3 inside the 7. It probably wasn’t every time, but it seemed like it, we’d be three-and-out and we’d punt the ball back to the other end of the field and here they’d come again.”. Roby was selected as a punter for the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team. Former Dolphins punter Reggie Roby, known for his towering kicks, died Monday morning at home in Nashville, Tenn., where he lived with his third wife, Melissa, and four children. Fans would show up, just to see him punt the ball. And he helped give us one of the best kicking games in college for the next four years.”. In addition to playing high school football, he was also a standout pitcher on the Waterloo East High School baseball team, and was drafted by Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds. And yet another from a high school classmate of mine named Bob Bettendorf, and maybe the funniest of all the responses. But Roby chose football instead, much to delight of Hayden Fry and his coaching staff at Iowa. Roby played in Super Bowl XIX with the Dolphins, though he had a rather lousy day, averaging just 39.3 yards per kick and failing to put any of his 7 punts inside the 20. Roby used to challenge himself by punting over houses and buildings or anything that stood tall. He passed away on Feb. 22, 2005 at the age of just 43. With Roby, the 1981 team earned its first Rose Bowl invitation in 23 years on the strength of a 6-2 conference record (8-4 overall) and co-Big Ten championship with Ohio State. I was scared -- scared to make a mistake. On February 22, 2005, Roby's son, Julian, found him without a pulse in their Nashville home. He played college football for the University of Iowa, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. In 1989, Roby earned a Pro Bowl selection again. Roby would go on to play 16 seasons in the NFL where he punted 992 times for 42,951 yards and a 43.3 average. Roby also influenced others to become punters because they were mesmerized and inspired by his greatness as shared in this tweet by @attysbrewd. “Punting is a lost art. Roby played sixteen seasons in the NFL and had 992 punts for 42,951 yards. It would be a loud noise and there’d be no doubt in your mind that was Reggie that punted that one.”. The cause of death, although not officially reported, was believed to be a heart attack. I used to “TRY” and catch his punts. In 1982, he led the nation with a 48.1-yard average. “In the summers he would practice at the park near where I lived. Reggie Roby is one of the few who's rolling dough. "[5], http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/features/superbowl/archives/19/, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Reggie_Roby&oldid=947829247, African-American players of American football, NFL player missing current team parameter, Infobox NFL biography articles missing alt text, Infobox NFL biography articles with old NFL.com URL, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 March 2020, at 18:48. If you need help finding the right words, view our, Star punter Roby dies Football Player. I am a 1985 East High graduate and former AD there as well. “We called him Thunder Foot for a reason. Former Dolphins Pro Bowl punter Reggie Roby died early Tuesday in ", "When it came to punting he is the GOAT!!!!! "Probably the only punter in history that made you look forward to a 3 and out on offense.". "[2] However, it is notable that despite Miami's #1 ranked offense during the 1984 season, which set numerous NFL records, he still made the Pro Bowl that year. Nashville, Tenn. of unknown causes, according to his family. And you could make a strong case that he was the most valuable player for Iowa’s 1981 Big Ten champion team. Roby’s last season with the Dolphins was in 1992. He was 28-34 for PAT's and was 11-27 in FG attempts, mostly from long range.

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