Kansas City, Missouri — Hall of Fame defensive forward Coley Culp helped the Kansas City Chiefs win their first Super Bowl during his 14-year NFL career. He died Saturday from complications of pancreatic cancer. He is 75 years old.
Culp announced this month that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. His wife Colette Bloom Culp “on behalf of our family, heartbroken” announced the death of five full-professional players.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Curley Culp. He is a very upright person and he respects football games and their application in daily life,” said Jim Porter, chairman of the Hall of Fame. “Curry’s humility and elegance are always obvious.”
Culp is considered one of the most powerful players in the NFL during his career, although his position on the inside of the defense means that his performance is often overlooked. He was selected to participate in six Pro Bowls. After the 1975 season, he won the Associated Press’s Defensive Player of the Year title, second only to the Steelers cornerback Mel Blount.
It wasn’t until shortly after the end of his playing career-Culp retired in 1981-he was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame. But after joining the WTO in 2013, Culp proudly wore the golden jacket of a member of the Hall of Fame and seemed to be everywhere.
While at Arizona State University, Culp learned to use his speed and leverage. He is a national football player for the Sun Devils. He is 6 feet tall and weighs about 265 pounds. He has won the National Wrestling Heavyweight Championship.
The Denver Broncos selected Culp in the second round of the 1965 draft with the goal of making him an offensive guard. But when it became clear that this didn’t work, they traded him to the Chiefs and Hank Strahm inserted him in the middle of the defensive line, eventually bringing Kansas City to the Super Bowl.
“I think I proved them wrong,” Culp told the Associated Press in a 2013 phone interview. “A small flame plug, it’s me.”
Culp is part of the defensive team, including Hall of Famers Emmett Thomas, Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell and Buck Buchanan. In the fourth Super Bowl, the team defeated the Vikings’ boasted game by a score of 23-7.