Ken Riley, a former All-Pro cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals, died Sunday. He was 72.
Florida A&M University, where Riley was head coach and athletic director, announced the former NFL standout’s death. A cause of death was not known.
“FAMU athletics and the entire Rattler Nation is deeply saddened of the passing of former FAMU football player, head coach, athletics director, and NFL great Ken Riley,” the school said in a statement. “We wish his family our deepest condolences.”
Riley was a quarterback at Florida A&M before the Bengals selected him in the sixth round of the 1969 NFL Draft and he transitioned to cornerback.
Riley spent 15 years with the Bengals. He recorded 65 interceptions and returned five of those picks for touchdowns. In the final two years of his career, he was among the leaders in interceptions returned for scores. He finished playing with the Bengals in 1983 – earning his lone First-Team All-Pro selection that season.
“Everybody here loved Kenny. He had everyone’s respect,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said in a statement. “When he came here, Kenny and Lemar Parrish had never played cornerback, and they’re the two best we’ve ever had. And we’ve had a lot of good ones. We put him over there for a decade and a half and we didn’t have to worry about it. … I’m going to miss him. He was a good guy and a solid man.”
After he retired, Riley was an assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. He then took the Florida A&M job where he coached from 1986-1993, winning two conference titles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.