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Lenny Lyles

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Lenny Lyles, a speedy football and track star at the University of Louisville and a trailblazer in the National Football League, has died at age 75.

University of Louisville coach Charlie Strong confirmed Lyles' death on his Twitter feed.

Lyles stayed in Louisville after a 12-year career in pro football and was a successful businessman.

Lyles, who attended Central High School, was one of the first African-Americans to play for Louisville. Playing from 1954 to '57, he scored a school-record 42 touchdowns and was known as "The Fastest Man in Football."

He also was the first Cardinals player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

Lyles, whose statue stands at Cardinal Park, was drafted in the first round of the 1958 draft by the Baltimore Colts.

Lyles played most of his NFL career with the Baltimore Colts, primarily as a defensive back.

After his career he remained in Louisville and was involved in several business ventures, including developing the Lyles Mall on West Broadway.
Published in The Courier-Journal on Nov. 22, 2011
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