Ray Guy
refer to caption
Guy playing for the Raiders in 1985
No. 8
Personal information
Born: (1949-12-22) December 22, 1949 (age 72)
Swainsboro, Georgia
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Thomson (Thomson, Georgia)
College:Southern Miss (1969–1972)
NFL Draft:1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Punting yards:44,493
Average punt:42.4
Longest punt:74
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

William Ray Guy (born December 22, 1949) is an American former professional football player who played as punter for the Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League (NFL).[1] Guy was a unanimous All-American selection in 1972 as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, and was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 1973.[2] Guy was elected to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. An eight-time NFL All-Pro, Guy is widely considered to be the greatest punter of all time.[3]

With his induction to the Hall of Fame on August 2, 2014, he became only the second pure kicker (after Jan Stenerud) and the first pure punter so honored.[4]

Early life

Guy attended Thomson High School in Thomson, Georgia, where he was a four–sport star. Playing quarterback, safety, linebacker and tailback, aside from Kicking and punting duties, Guy led Thomson to Georgia Class A state football championships in 1967 and 1968. Guy averaged 49.7 yards per punt in 1968. Playing basketball, Guy scored 39 points in a Thomson basketball game the day after the 1968 state championship football game, with no practice. In baseball, Guy pitched a 15–inning scoreless game for Thomson in the state playoff semi–finals in 1969.[5][6]

College career

Guy was both a punter and a placekicker at Southern Mississippi, once kicking a then–record 61–yard field goal in a snowstorm during a game in Utah. In 1972, he kicked a 93–yard punt in a game against the University of Mississippi. After his senior season, Guy was named Most Valuable Player of the 1973 Chicago College All-Star Game, in which an all–star team of college seniors played the current Super Bowl champion. He was also a starting safety at Southern Miss; during his senior season, he intercepted a school–record eight passes, and was named an All–American defensive back.[7]

Professional career

Guy was the first punter ever to be selected in the first round in the NFL Draft, when the Oakland Raiders selected him as the 23rd pick in the 1973 NFL Draft.

In his career as a punter, Guy played his entire career with the Raiders and was selected to seven Pro Bowl teams including six in a row from 1973 to 1978. He was named as the punter on the NFL's 75th and 100th Anniversary teams. His trademark was kicking punts that stayed in the air for long periods of time. More often than not, by the time a punt returner was able to field one of Guy's punts, the Raiders' coverage unit had the field covered so well that returns were difficult, if not impossible. Although Guy rarely kicked for distance, his punts often left opposing offenses pinned deep in their own end of the field. The statistic for hang time was instituted in the NFL during his career, reportedly because of him. Pro Football Hall of Fame historian Joe Horrigan once said of Guy, "He's the first punter you could look at and say: 'He won games.'"[8][9]

In Super Bowl XVIII, Guy punted seven times for 299 yards (42.7 average), with 244 net yards (34.8 average). Five of his punts pinned the Washington Redskins inside their own 20. Due in part to his effective punting, the Los Angeles Raiders easily won the game, 38–9.

During the early part of his career, he was the Raiders' emergency quarterback, replacing kicker–quarterback George Blanda in this position. He also occasionally did kickoffs for the Raiders because the aging Blanda no longer had great range.

After a 1977 game against the Houston Oilers, Oilers coach Bum Phillips accused Guy of using footballs illegally inflated with helium because he had "never seen anyone hang kickoffs like Guy did", and that the ball was "hanging up there too long"; additionally, the Raiders had used a new ball for every punt, adding to his suspicions. Phillips said after the game that he would send the ball to Rice University for testing. Guy punted 3 times for 107 yards in the game.[10][11]

In his 13–year career, Guy:

Hall of Fame

Ray Guy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2014 on August 2, 2014.[12][13] For many years before his induction in 2014, he was considered one of the most worthy players who had not yet been selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[14] In 1994, he was the first pure punter to be nominated for enshrinement. In his enshrinement speech, he proudly proclaimed, "Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team."[15]

Guy has been inducted into both the Mississippi and Georgia Sports Halls of Fame, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. On April 21, 2008, Guy was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.[16]

NFL career statistics

Won the Super Bowl
Led the league
Bold Career high
Regular season
Year Team GP Punting
Punts Yards Avg Lng Blk
1973 OAK 14 69 3,127 45.3 72 0
1974 OAK 14 74 3,124 42.2 66 0
1975 OAK 14 68 2,979 43.8 64 0
1976 OAK 14 67 2,785 41.6 66 0
1977 OAK 14 59 2,552 43.3 74 0
1978 OAK 16 81 3,462 42.7 69 2
1979 OAK 16 69 2,939 42.6 71 1
1980 OAK 16 71 3,099 43.6 77 0
1981 OAK 16 96 4,195 43.7 69 0
1982 LA 9 47 1,839 39.1 57 0
1983 LA 16 78 3,336 42.8 63 0
1984 LA 16 91 3,809 41.9 63 0
1985 LA 16 89 3,627 40.8 68 0
1986 LA 16 90 3,620 40.2 64 0
Career 207 1,049 44,493 42.4 77 3

Ray Guy Award

In 2000, the Greater Augusta Sports Council instituted the Ray Guy Award, to be awarded to the nation's best collegiate punter. Since many collegiate punters nominated for the Ray Guy Award are either former students or work at his kicking camps, Guy himself does not participate in the voting process to avoid accusations of favoritism.

Pro kicking camps

In 2005, Guy helped organize and participated in two-day kicking camps, held throughout the United States, for high-school punters, placekickers, and longsnappers. In 2007, the camp was once again held on the campus of Colorado College. He has help from son Ryan Guy.

Personal life

Guy was married to Beverly Guy. The couple has two children, Ryan and Amber.

On August 14, 2011, Guy filed for bankruptcy and was forced to put up his Super Bowl rings for auction.[17] The auction of the rings brought in $96,216, slightly higher than the upper estimate of 90K.[18][19]


  1. ^ "Ray Guy, P at". Nfl.com. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  2. ^ "USM's Ray Guy talks about getting left out of Pro Football Hall of Fame - again (poll) | gulflive.com". Blog.gulflive.com. August 3, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  3. ^ [1] Archived August 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Derrick Brooks headlines HOF class". ESPN. February 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Holcomb, Todd. "Best player in school history: Region 3-AAAA teams".
  6. ^ "Ray Guy (2004) - Hall of Fame". National Football Foundation.
  7. ^ "rayguy". Southern Miss. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "Why Shane Lechler will have a tougher time reaching Canton than admirers believe". SI.com. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  9. ^ Little, Jeff. "NFL: Why Isn't This Guy in the Hall of Fame, Part I". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  10. ^ "Helium Hangtime Hunch". Eugene Register-Guard. November 14, 1977. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  11. ^ "Houston Oilers at Oakland Raiders - November 13th, 1977". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  12. ^ Tafur, Vic (August 1, 2014). "Ray Guy's long wait ends with his Hall of Fame induction". SFGate.com. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "RayGuy.net". RayGuy.net. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  14. ^ Joyner, K.C. (January 24, 2009), "A Case for Ray Guy Belonging in Pro Football Hall of Fame", The New York Times, retrieved March 2, 2009
  15. ^ "Ray Guy: "Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team;" Martin Gramatica gets a shoutout". The Kansas City Star. August 2, 2014.
  16. ^ "Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame – 2008 Inductees". Bashof.org. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  17. ^ Gloster, Rob (August 10, 2011). "Bankrupt Ex-Raiders Punter Ray Guy Auctions Super Bowl Rings for $96,216". Bloomberg.
  18. ^ Gay, Chris (August 10, 2011). "Ray Guy's Super Bowl rings sell for $96,000-plus | The Augusta Chronicle". Chronicle.augusta.com. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  19. ^ "Ray Guy's Ring". Natedsanders.com. Retrieved January 14, 2016.