Former Bengals CB Ken Riley Dies at Age 72

Former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Ken Riley waves to the crowd during a halftime 50th anniversary ceremony of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Gary Landers/Associated Press

Former NFL defensive back Ken Riley died Sunday morning at the age of 72, Florida A&M University announced.

Riley starred for Florida A&M as a player before becoming a coach and athletic director for the school after his playing career.

He spent 15 years in the NFL from 1969 to ’83, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, compiling 65 interceptions in his career and a first-team All-Pro selection in his final season.   

The cornerback is tied with Charles Woodson for fifth in NFL history in interceptions, and each of the top four players on the list are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Riley is a member of the Bengals Hall of Fame, Black College Football Hall of Fame and FAMU Athletics Hall of Fame.

As a coach, Riley led the Rattlers to a 48-39-2 record from 1986 to ’93, winning two MEAC Coach of the Year awards.

Current FAMU head football coach Willie Simmons provided a statement Sunday:

“I woke up this morning with a heavy heart as I learned of the passing of FAMU and NFL great Ken Riley. Coach Riley was one of the first to welcome me to the FAMULY and having him speak to our team before our first Orange and Green game is definitely at the top of my list of unforgettable moments as head coach here at FAMU. My deepest condolences go out to his family and we as football community will surely honor his memory.”

Bengals great Willie Anderson also paid his respect:

Willie Anderson @BigWillie7179

I’m so saddened by The passing of Ken Riley! (In the middle) I learn so much info from him this weekend at @Bengals celebration. People The Hall of Fame means so much to him . (65 career INTs )The ⁦@Bengals⁩ doing a lot more former players event means a lot to him . https://t.co/M2kEWIaxi6

Riley retired as the Florida A&M athletic director in 2004.

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