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Hall of Fame Punter Ray Guy Dies at 72

Photo: Jason Miller

Ray Guy, the first and only punter ever elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and regarded by many as the greatest player to ever play the position, has died at the age of 72 following a "lengthy illness" battle, his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi, announced in a news release shared on their website Thursday (November 3).

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

Guy, who is credited for coining the phrase "hang time" measuring how long a punt is airborne, was selected by the then-Oakland Raiders at No. 23 overall in the 1973 NFL Draft, becoming the first punter ever drafted in the first round.

The Georgia native spent his entire career with the Raiders, winning three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII) and being selected as a six-time first-team All-Pro (1973-78), two-time second-team All-Pro (1979-80), and a seven-time Pro Bowler (1973-78, 1980).

Guy was also selected to the NFL's 1970s All-Decade, 75th Anniversary All-Time, and 100th Anniversary Teams.

Guy, a unanimous All-America at Southern Miss, was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

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