Chiefs Hall of Fame DT Curley Culp dies at 75

Nearly two weeks after announcing he had been diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer, Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer Curley Culp has died. The former NFL defensive tackle was 75 years old.

Culp’s wife, Collette Bloom Culp, delivered the news on Culp’s Twitter account Saturday morning.

“On behalf of our family and with a broken heart, I announce the passing of my husband, Curley Culp early this morning. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”

A native of Yuma, Arizona, Culp attended Arizona State University, playing football and becoming an NCAA heavyweight champion wrestler. Culp was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 1968 draft, and they intended to have him play offensive line. After a failed transition, they traded Culp to the Kansas City Chiefs in training camp.

Culp would play in the NFL for 14 seasons playing nose tackle, spending seven seasons in Kansas City, starting in a total of 70 regular-season games. He became an AFL champion and won Super Bowl IV with the Chiefs in 1969, playing on a defense that included five other future Hall of Famers (DT Buck Buchanan, LB Bobby Bell, LB Willie Lanier, CB Emmitt Thomas and DB Johnny Robinson). Culp was traded to the Houston Oilers in 1974 and spent another seven seasons in Houston before a brief stint with the Detroit Lions at the end of his career.

His triumphant NFL career included six Pro Bowl selections, five All-Pro selections, and an NFL Defensive Player of the Year nod. In March of 2008, Culp was inducted into the Chiefs’ ring of honor, becoming the 38th player, coach or contributor to join. Culp was enshrined in Canton, Ohio in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2013.

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