Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Kiick's father, former Miami Dolphins star, dies at 73

   Jim Kiick, a star running back on the legendary Miami Dolphins teams of the early 1970s and the father of professional tennis player Allie Kiick, died Saturday in Wilton Manors, Fla., at 73.
   Kiick had Alzheimer's disease and was living in an assisted living facility.
   "I'd like everyone to know that I have read every single comment about my dad," Allie Kiick, who will turn 25 on Tuesday, tweeted Sunday. "Please continue sharing all your stories and pictures. Brings tears of joy. Thank you all so much. Happy Father's Day to the best Dad in the world. I love & miss you so much #21."
   With formidable runners Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris and Kiick, Miami reached three consecutive Super Bowls (1971-73) and won the last two. The 1972 Dolphins remain the only NFL team to go undefeated in the regular season and playoffs (17-0).
   Kiick scored on one-yard touchdown runs in both of Miami's Super Bowl victories. In the three Super Bowls combined, he rushed for 88 yards on 29 carries (3.0 average).
   The Dolphins drafted Kiick, a New Jersey native, in the fifth round in 1968 out of the University of Wyoming. He rushed for at least 500 yards in each of his first five seasons, all with Miami, and topped 1,000 yards combined rushing and receiving in each of his first four years.
   Kiick led the American Football League with nine rushing touchdowns in 1969 and ran for a career-high 738 yards (4.6 average) in 1971. The AFL merged with the NFL in 1970 and became the American Football Conference.
   Kiick missed only one game in his seven years with the Dolphins, when the regular season lasted 14 games rather than today's 16. He ranks fifth in Dolphins history with 3,644 rushing yards.
   Allie Kiick, 5-foot-7 (1.70 meters), climbed to a career-high No. 126 last June after missing two years (2015-17) with mononucleosis, a rare skin cancer on her back and four knee surgeries. During her layoff, she taught tennis in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and took biology classes at Broward College there.
   "My back is like a road map, scars everywhere," Kiick, currently ranked No. 160, told in 2017. "I've matured a ton. I think that came with working a regular job, going to school, seeing things from a normal person's perspective.
   "The job I had was like $25 an hour, and it was hard work. They were, like 5-year-olds, and it was hard. I can honestly say I do not want to ever be a coach. Ever."

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