Wyoming Hall of Fame running back Jim Kiick dies at 73
CHEYENNE -- University of Wyoming Hall of Fame running back and member of the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Jim Kiick, died Saturday in south Florida.
He was 73.
Kiick, a native of New Jersey, was the first player to ever earn first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors three times. Kiick helped lead the Cowboys to back-to-back WAC titles in 1967 and '68. He was also a key figure on the Sun Bowl Championship team in 1966.
Kiick was the Most Valuable Player that day in El Paso, Texas, rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys' 28-20 victory over Florida State.
With Kiick in the lineup, Wyoming went 26-6 overall, including a perfect 13-0 record inside War Memorial Stadium.
During Kiick's senior year, Wyoming had its best season to date. He rushed for a team-high 583 yards and helped lead the fifth-ranked Cowboys to the Sugar Bowl. Wyoming was the first ever WAC team to be invited to a New Year's Day bowl game.
The 5-foot, 11-inch bruiser from Lincoln Park, was a fifth-round selection of the Dolphins in the 1968 NFL Draft.
Under legendary head coach Don Shula, Kiick and the Dolphins won Super Bowl VII and VIII. Kiick, along with NFL Hall of Fame running back, Larry Csonka, were dubbed "Butch and the Sundance Kid." In 1972, Miami went 17-0 thanks in part to that dynamic backfield.
Kiick (Butch) suited up in Miami from 1968-74. He left the Dolphins for the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League and eventually played for the Broncos and Redskins.
Kiick amassed 3,759 rushing yards in the NFL to go along with 33 total touchdowns.
The Dolphins announced Kiick's passing in a Twitted post Saturday afternoon:
Kiick battled memory issues in recent years and lived in an assisted living home. That was confirmed by his son, Brandon Kiick, in March of 2019.
"I love him so much, and although he isn't as bad physically as some say, he really has a tough time putting into words what he wants to say," Brandon told 7220sports.com in a Facebook message when asked to do an interview with Jim Kiick. "He's so prideful. I know it's tough on him."
Kiick was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.