Former Miami Dolphins running back Jim Kiick dies at 73

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Former Miami Dolphins running back Jim Kiick died on Saturday, his daughter and the team announced. 

He was 73. 

Kiick was living in an assisted living home for several years and battling dementia and Alzheimer’s. His cause of death wasn’t clear. 

Kiick played in the league from 1968-1977, almost entirely with the Dolphins. The former Wyoming standout was selected by the Dolphins in the fifth round of the 1968 draft after leading the Cowboys in rushing for three straight seasons. He helped lead Miami to its perfect undefeated season in 1972, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the AFC championship game and another in the Super Bowl to cap the year off. He helped the team repeat as Super Bowl champions the following year, too. 

The Lincoln Park, New Jersey, native compiled more than 3,700 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career. He spent one season with the Denver Broncos in 1976, and then played three games with the team and one with the Washington Redskins in 1977 before calling it a career. 

He left the NFL for one season in 1975 for the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League, but returned a year later after the league shut down.

Kiick’s father, George, played briefly in the league too, spending two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1940 and 1945. His daughter, Allie, is a professional tennis player and is currently ranked No. 160 in the world. She shared an emotional note on social media earlier this week about her father and how difficult it has been to communicate with him during the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down his assisted living home. 

“I miss my dad. Every time I see him, he says, ‘I miss you,’” she wrote, in part. “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.”

Former Miami running back Jim Kiick, who helped the Dolphins achieve the NFL’s only perfect season in 1972, has died at age 73. In recent years Kiick battled memory issues and lived in an assisted living home, and the team announced his death Saturday, June 20, 2020. (AP/GB, File)

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