The Tiger community is mourning the loss of one their own this morning. A former Clemson football star has passed away.
According to The State, an official for the school confirmed former Tigers standout Bennie Cunningham has lost his battle with cancer.
The former All-American and Super Bowl champion passed away Monday morning. Cunningham was diagnosed with the disease in January. He was 63 years old.
In 1974 and 1975, Cunningham was selected as an All-American for the Tigers – making him one of 12 Clemson players ever bestowed with the honor multiple times.
In 2003, the tight end was the only player at his position picked for the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team as one of the Top 50 players in the conference’s history. In his collegiate career with Clemson, he caught 64 balls for 1,044 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney shared his condolences on the late Clemson great:
“Bennie Cunningham was one of our greatest players, arguably the greatest tight end in our history and ACC history,” Swinney said in a statement. “He set the standard for players at that position. But, more importantly, was the way he represented Clemson as a professional athlete and in his life after football. With his passing, the Clemson football program remembers him and his family with highest regard today.”
Cunningham was selected in the first round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers — going on to win a pair of Super Bowl rings with the franchise before hanging up his cleats in 1985. He finished his 10-year NFL career with the Steelers with 202 receptions for 2,879 yards and 20 touchdowns.
He won a pair of Super Bowl titles during his time with the Steelers and finished with 202 catches for 2,879 yards and 20 touchdowns during his NFL career.