MIAMI (AP) – Pro Football Hall of Fame middle linebacker Nick Buoniconti, an undersized overachiever who helped lead the Miami Dolphins to the NFL’s only perfect season, has died at the age of 78.
Bruce Bobbins, a spokesman for the Buoniconti family, says he died Tuesday in Bridgehampton, New York. A cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
Buoniconti was bypassed in the NFL draft but went on to a 15-year career. He helped the Dolphins win back-to-back Super Bowls, including the 1972 team that finished 17-0.
Following retirement, Buoniconti and his son, Marc, worked to raise more than a half-billion dollars in the search for a cure for paralysis. The younger Buoniconti was paralyzed from the shoulders down making a tackle for The Citadel in 1985.
Nick Buoniconti was chosen for the all-time AFL team in 1970. He was chosen for the NFL Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973.
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