MIAMI —Jim Kiick, the versatile running back who helped the Miami Dolphins achieve the NFL’s only perfect season in 1972, died Saturday at age 73 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, daughter Allie said.
The former University of Wyoming star was part of a formidable backfield that included his best friend, Pro Football Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka. They earned the nicknames Butch and Sundance, inspired by the popular 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Kiick (“Butch”) made the American Football League All-Star team in his first two seasons and played on Miami’s back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams in 1972-73. Kiick had two touchdowns for the ’72 Dolphins in the AFC championship game, and also scored in the Super Bowl victory that capped their 17-0 season under Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.
Shula died May 4 at age 90.
Kiick lived in an assisted living home in recent years. Allie Kiick said that because of the coronavirus, visitors weren’t being allowed in his room.
“I miss my dad,” she wrote Thursday on Twitter. “It’s pretty hard when you’re sitting on the outside of the glass and can’t do anything to cheer him up. He’s lost the spark in his eyes as anyone would in this situation.”
In his NFL heyday, Kiick and the speedier Mercury Morris split playing time with the Dolphins during the 1972-73 seasons, which gave Shula a potent one-two punch at halfback but sometimes led to second-guessing by fans.
“Kiick and Mercury Morris both contributed,” Shula said. “Every Monday there was a controversy, but the bottom line wasn’t bad.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —A second West Virginia University football player has tested positive for the coronavirus, the college said Saturday.
The school’s athletic department said the person will self-isolate for 14 days. An investigation identified additional football players who have come into contact with the athlete and those people will also self-quarantine as a safety precaution, the college said.
The school reported the first virus case among its football players on June 15, the first day of voluntary workouts. The athletic department says it is following federal safety guidelines.
When West Virginia begins its fall semester on Aug. 19, students must wear masks on campus, including in class.