Ray Guy was born on December 22, 1949, in Swainsboro, Georgia. He attended Thomson High School in Thomson, Georgia, and played baseball, basketball, and football. Playing quarterback, safety, linebacker, and tailback, aside from kicking and punting duties, Guy led Thomson to the Georgia Class A state football championships in 1967 and 1968. Guy averaged 49.7 yards per punt in 1968.
In basketball, he scored 39 points in a game the day after the 1968 state championship football game. He pitched a 15-inning scoreless game for Thomson in the state playoff semifinals in 1969 and was also a track team member. Guy was both a punter and a placekicker at the University of Southern Mississippi.
He kicked a then-NCAA record 61-yard field goal in a snowstorm during a game in Utah. In 1972, he kicked a 93-yard punt against the University of Mississippi. He led the nation with an average of 46.2 yards per punt, earning him first-team All-American honors from the Football Writers Association of America. His career average of 44.7 yards per punt is still a school record.
He was also a starting safety at Southern Miss; during his senior season, he set a single-season school record with eight interceptions and was named an All-American defensive back by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Ray was named most valuable player of the 1972 Chicago College All-Star Game, in which an all-star team of college seniors played the current Super Bowl champion. Guy continued playing baseball at Southern Miss, striking out 266 in 200 innings and pitching a no-hitter.
He was the first punter ever to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick of the 1973 draft. In his career, he was selected to the Pro Bowl 7 times, was named as the punter on the NFL’s 75th and 100th-anniversary teams, played in 207 consecutive games, punted 1,049 times for 44,493 yards, averaging 42.4 yards per punt, a 33.8 net yards average,
had 210 punts inside the 20-yard line with just 128 touchbacks, led the NFL in gross yards per punt three times, had a streak of 619 consecutive punts before having one blocked, and has a record of 111 career punts in postseason games. Ray Guy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2014 on August 2, 2014. As of 2022, he is still the only punter inducted.
Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team.Ray Guy (In his enshrinement speech)
Guy was inducted into both the Mississippi and Georgia Sports Halls of Fame, the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame.
In 2000, the Greater Augusta Sports Council instituted the Ray Guy Award, to be awarded to the nation’s best collegiate punter. In 2005, Guy helped organize and participated in two-day kicking camps, held throughout the United States, for high school punters, placekickers, and long snappers.
Ray was married to Beverly Guy. and had two children, Ryan and Amber. After a lengthy illness with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Guy died on November 3, 2022, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, at age 72.