Legendary former Miami Dolphins linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti has passed away, according to multiple reports.
Buoniconti was 78. In 2017, he announced that he would donate his brain to science for CTE research following his death.
News of Buoniconti’s death was reported by Fox News sports reporter Jared Max and longtime Miami writer Hal Habib.
Sad news to pass on. We've learned at @foxnews that @MiamiDolphins legendary linebacker, Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Nick Buoniconti has died at age 78. Two years ago, the lovable, 2-time Super Bowl champ announced that upon his death, he'd donate his brain for CTE research. RIP
— Jared Max (@Jared_Max) July 31, 2019
I'm sorry to report that Nick Buoniconti has died.
— Hal Habib (@gunnerhal) July 31, 2019
After starring at Notre Dame, where he earned second-team All-American honors in 1961, Buoniconti was chosen by the Boston Patriots in the 13th-round of the 1962 AFL Draft. He would be named an AFL All-Star five times with the Patriots before joining the Miami Dolphins in 1968.
In Miami, Buoniconti became one of the leaders of the vaunted “No-Name Defense.” He helped the Dolphins win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1972 and 1973 and was named All-Pro in both seasons.
The 1972 Dolphins are the last NFL team to go undefeated, finishing the regular season and playoffs with a 17-0 record.
Buoniconti’s playing career ended in 1976. In retirement, he became a public crusader for spinal cord injury research and the fight to cure paralysis after his son Marc, a linebacker for The Citadel, became a quadriplegic when he was injured making a tackle in a 1985 game.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Buoniconti family at this time.