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Sun, 07.30.1961

Reggie Roby, punter extraordinaire

Reggie Roby

Reggie Roby was born on this date in 1961. He was an African American professional football player.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Reginald Henry Roby played football and baseball at Waterloo East High School, and was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as a pitcher. He chose to attend the University of Iowa and play football where he would become an All-American punter. At 6 Foot 4 Inches and 250 pounds, Roby was known for his ability to kick deep.  In 1981, the team had its first winning season in 20 years, and made its first Rose Bowl in 23 years.

Iowa would gain a share of the Big Ten championship that year, as Roby set a NCAA record for average punting distance (49.8 yards). He led the nation the following year with a 48.1 yard average. His career average of 45.4 yards is still the Iowa record.

Roby was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the famed 1983 draft. Roby would play for Miami from 1983-1992. His average punts of 45.7 yards lead the AFC in 1991.  He spent his last six seasons with the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Houston Oilers after they relocated to Tennessee. Roby's final season would be spent as a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 1998.

He went to the Pro Bowl three times, and in February 1985, he set the Pro Bowl record with 10 punts in a game. His 58.5 yard single-game average on September 28, 1986 remains a Dolphin team record. At Rich Stadium, Roby punted the ball a team record 77 yards in distance, but the punt was returned 70 yards. He completed the only pass attempt of his career, a 48-yarder to John Booty in 1995.

His cousin Courtney a wide receiver played for the University of Indiana. Roby was selected as a punter for the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team.

He was an All-Pro NFL punter for 16 seasons. On February 22, 2005, Reggie Roby was found dead at his home in Nashville, of an apparent heart attack, leaving behind a wife, Melissa, and six children.

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