Reggie Roby
Star punter Roby dies BY ARMANDO SALGUERO
[email protected]

He was an NFL punter with a linebacker's body and a champion's heart.

But that heart seemingly failed Reggie Roby on Tuesday when the former Dolphins standout died of an apparent heart attack at 43. An official cause of death is expected after an autopsy.

Roby was found by his wife, Melissa, Tuesday morning in their Nashville home. He was unconscious without a pulse. CPR was administered at his home, in the ambulance and in the Saint Thomas Hospital emergency room to no avail.

He was pronounced dead at 8:35 a.m., according to the hospital and family.

Roby leaves behind his wife, six children and a dual legacy as a punter with a booming leg and a charitable man with a giving spirit.

"This is a tremendous loss for his family but also for a lot of young boys in Nashville," said Joe Davis, founder of Backfield in Motion, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire Nashville's inner-city boys to become contributors to society.

Roby moved from South Florida three years ago and worked for the Nashville-based organization as the marketing and development director. He was currently overseeing 30 boys, according to Davis.

"He was probably the only male role model a lot of these young men had," Davis said. "He was very much a part of their lives. In fact, when their grades slipped or something happened at school, teachers would often call Reggie first."

In working for Backfield in Motion, Roby was simply putting to use a charitable spirit he often tried to keep veiled while he played with the Dolphins from 1983-92.

"Every Christmas morning he would get up and head off to some soup kitchen to help feed people," said Broward-based attorney Scott Alan Salomon, who represented Roby much of his 16-year career. "He didn't want the media to know about it because he wasn't doing it for the publicity.

"He was just doing it because it was in his heart. He was just a good man."

And people apparently responded to that. That is why Roby's passing reverberated throughout the NFL on Tuesday.


New York Jets special-teams coach Mike Westhoff, who coached Roby throughout his Miami tenure, remembers that the player formed an easy, friendly bond with his son, John.

When the Dolphins decided to waive Roby in 1993, John Westhoff was not happy. "[John] wouldn't talk to me for a week," Mike Westhoff said Tuesday. 'I explained, 'John, there's the business end to this.' He didn't want to hear that. All he knew was his buddy, a good player, was being released."

Roby, an imposing figure at 6-2 and 243 pounds, still holds the highest career playoff average of any Miami punter at 40.6, and his 77-yard kick vs. Buffalo in 1987 is still the longest net punt in team history.

"I remember him as having one of the strongest legs in the history of the NFL," former Dolphins coach Don Shula said in a statement. "Often on walk-throughs in domed stadiums the day before the game, he always would try to hit the top of the dome with a punt.

"He sometimes succeeded, which illustrates just how strong a leg he had. Reggie helped define the position, and even after he retired, every time I saw a long, high punt, it always reminded me of one of his kicks."


Said Westhoff: "He was physically an extremely gifted individual. He was a powerful, powerful person. His lower body, his thighs, he was massive. He was a pendulum punter, which meant he could keep his left foot on the ground, and when he kicked, his right knee would touch his face. Try that sometime. It's an impressive thing." The Dolphins released Roby in the summer of 1993. He had suffered financial setbacks and was threatening to void his contract by filing for bankruptcy, which he eventually did.

He also had been injured much of 1992, and his average had dipped to a career-low 41.2 yards per kick. But upon his release, Roby was able to rebound.

He signed a lucrative contract with Washington and was named to his third Pro Bowl as a member of the Redskins after earning two trips to Hawaii as a Dolphin. He also had stints with Tampa Bay, Houston, Tennessee and San Francisco before he retired after the 2001 season.

"There were certainly many, many times after we released him I wished I had him back, that I wish he was right on the field with me," Westhoff said.

"He was a very, very good player, an accomplished punter and a fine man. It's a sad day, that's for sure."
Published by the Miami Herald on Feb. 22, 2005.
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829 Entries
A reminder of the enduring legend that was Reggie Roby. You are still missed.
Kris Boyce
April 5, 2020
Continue to Rest in Peace, Reggie, continue to Rest in Peace. A fan Forever.
December 14, 2018
Harry Brown
December 13, 2018
In God he rest
January 19, 2018
Continue to rest in peace.
October 2, 2017
Pete Larson
October 1, 2017
When it came to punting he is the GOAT!!!!!
Ken Thomas
June 19, 2017
The greatest punter of all time, it was a pleasure watching you play. RIIP Reggie
Mitchell Eiseman
December 15, 2015
We were fans when he played for the Iowa Hawkeyes. What a gifted athlete and extraordinary human being. There will never be another Reggie.
Steve and Cindy McIntosh
September 4, 2015
Never seen "anyone" punt a football the way Reggie did...i grew up in the 80's as a teenager and loved watching reg.
John Rozetti
September 7, 2014
Reggie was the best punter in the game..
Damon Sanders
June 30, 2014
Toni Roby
November 17, 2013
i was a groundkeeper with the dolphins reg was a great person he all ways took time to thank us
January 29, 2013
Reggie You will be Missed..
Steve Voshell
January 7, 2013
I echo all the comments read here as a Miami dolphin season ticket holder, Miami born and raised there was never a more beautiful site than to see Reggie punt that football. We always knew we were in safe hands with Reggie on the field. Now he is in safe hands of The Lord. RIP --- Kim
October 14, 2012
Catching punts in Gates park.
May 1, 2012
Loved to watch you as a Hawkeye. They would only attempted to block your kicks once then they knew better.
John Menuis
January 8, 2012
Nick Gamvas
April 7, 2011
February 11, 2011
It IS amazing, yet not surprising at all that people are still compelled to send condolences for Reggie. I am honored to say he was my friend.
January 26, 2011
It's amazing that after 6 years, people are still compelled to share words of comfort and express the great loss felt by us all. This speaks volumes for Reggie's family and his hometown family of Waterloo.
January 25, 2011
Wish i coulda met you man. Your son Julian is one of my best friends. RIP
January 24, 2011
Going to school at East Waterloo in 1979 and walking the halls with the greatest punter in high school history was truly an honor. I will NEVER forget you. I pass on your legend and legacy to all my teams I have coached over the years. Love and rememberance always.
Danny "MORK from ORK" Wright
August 10, 2010
You led a generation, sir, and will be remembered.
Link Starbureiy
September 11, 2009
gregory Roby
August 7, 2009
I am Hawkeye fan And love Reggie! I just wish I could have met the great man!
July 20, 2009
I had the pleasure of meeting Reggie at the Walter Camp Foundation in New Haven, CT in the early 90's and again in Miami, FL. He was a very respectful gentleman and I will always remember that dangling gold cross earing he wore. I hope you are resting in peace.
January 22, 2009
Roby, you have inspired a new generation. We are now the Children of Roby. The new great generation. The ones that appreciate punting and all of its art. You were one of the best kickers in the game. The time you punted from your own 1 and kicked it so high it nearly blocked out the sun, inspired me and my best friend to start our own tribute web site to you. We celebrate your life and all the joy you have brought to the punting fans of the nation. Your spirit will live on and i'm sure it will be there watching over the great american punt off in 2012.
matthew diehl
January 21, 2009
Reggie was the Man,I will never forget I was 13 years old snuck into kinnick stadium and caught his practice punt it was his signature hang time breaker come from the moon punt!!!! Love this guy! Vegas
jonathan brady
January 18, 2009
Melissa: I just spent the last 4 hours reading through every entry and got such a beautiful picture of Reggie. It is a wonderful tribute to see people still making entries and sharing memories. You must be so proud that he touched so many lives. I just want you to know I am thinking of you and your children. You know I am here for you if you ever need anything.
Dawn Hagan-Byers
January 8, 2009
I happened to find Reggie's name on list of football players that have passed. I give everyone that has ever been a part of Reggie's life my deepest condolences. Here is the website where I found his name and other football players.
phillip m.
December 22, 2008
I Played against this man both college and pros and he was always the best at what he did. What I know of him is that he was a great man too.. We will never forget Reggie Roby!
Skip McClendon
November 27, 2008
October 21, 2008
I played with reggie at Iowa, what a great teamate,he will be missed R.I.P
Matt Petrazelka
October 9, 2008
I am a distance cousin of reggie roby. I never got to met him, my father met him when he was small. All I know is he did pass the gene along because my son plays and he has that great kick.
april roby
September 27, 2008
During the course of my work day i for some reason thought of Reggie Roby. I remembered how much a joy it was to watch him kick, and how proud i was that there was a black kicker in the NFL, who happened to be one of the best. I miss those days and wonder where are the black kickers in the NFL now?
James Hays
August 25, 2008
Reggie...I remember, as a child, watching you punt the ball & waiting to see the sky in the cameraman's shot. It was as beautiful as watching a touchdown from Dan Marino. Well, you are up there looking down down on your family & I know there is peace. I adored you, Reggie. Thanks for the memories.
August 14, 2008
I never had the pleasure of meeting Reggie Roby. I was a hugh fan of the Miami Dolphins and the players. Reggie was a great football player and person. He will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him. May God bless the Roby family.
Roderick Wiley
January 30, 2008
I had the pleasure of meeting Reggie in New Haven, CT at the Walter Camp football foundation event back in the 80's. He was a down to earth gentlemen. I was saddened to hear of his death
January 18, 2008
Always disciplined and very consistent, Reggie Roby was a great credit to the game as well as a great role model personally. I wish his family a lot of strength and fond memories of Reggie.
Animit Bhattacharya
January 16, 2008
Reggie and I went to East High together and spent alot of time in the Student Center matching quarters....he was good....I remember the type of guy he was,and will always remember his smile and the laughter we shared...You will be missed...and ,by the way, I still want your autograph.....
Bill Blankenship
January 13, 2008
I still talk about Reggie's punts when he was with Iowa. Everyone who watched the Hawks in the 80's remembers Reggie Roby with awe (and smiles). My dad and I used to watch the Hawks and although you usually do not want your offense to punt, watching Reggie punt made it fun. It was fun to see just how high and far he was going to send that ball flying! He was absolutely the BEST. God Bless you Reggie!
Darwin Larrison
November 6, 2007
October 21, 2007
Reggie will all ways be the greatest of all time
JIheam Watson
October 12, 2007
Still not forgotten, Reggie. Peace to all who knew and loved him.
Mindy Roby (no relation)
October 11, 2007
Thank you Reggie, for making the most out of every play. I have never seen another player with his ability of power and skill. It was a gift that was truly enjoyed.
Jeremy Foy
September 22, 2007
May Reggie live on in our hearts. We all miss watching him play the sport which he loved.
Joe Bolero
September 19, 2007
I was a punter and wanted to imitate Reggie's style. His left foot never left the ground when he punted. To this day, I have no idea how he generated the power he did without coming off the ground.
John Shotwell
July 21, 2007
Reggie Roby was, and still is, my favorite punter of all time. He's a hall of famer in my book.
Ryan Juan
July 20, 2007
I remember Reggie being so giving and took up alot of time with kids...I know Reggie because I was actually a flower girl in his first marriage. I remember one particular year it was my birthday and he had asked did I have a football and I told him "No why would I am a girl" so he bought me a football and taught me how to throw a football in my backyard. He will always be remembered.
Jennifer Hillsman
June 29, 2007
To the family of Reggie Roby, you always be in our thoughts and prayers.
Rodney Roby
May 15, 2007
Hey Guys. Thank you for all of the comments that you have left about my father. I had no idea that he impacted so many lives. If you would like to see pictures of us and the family feel free to contact us at [email protected] and we are also doing a Scholarship for High School football players. If anyone would like to make a donation and your name be part of this scholarship, please email or call. Thanks and keep us in your prayers. God Bless!
Brittany Roby
April 13, 2007
I remember growing up with Reggie and going to school with him. In high school he kicked field goals better than he punted until he met my bother Jeff.On the weekends he would come to my house and practice punting with my brother who still to this day holds the longest punt record in Iowa high school. Reggie loved hanging with Clayton, and John playing bass guitar. Last time I saw him he was just Reggie...
A friend..
Mark Kay
April 7, 2007
Marilyn Roby
March 7, 2007
I loved watching Reggie kick. Man he could boot!!!! We will miss him.
He was a credit to the NFL. My condolences to his family.
Terry Bowen
February 18, 2007
To the Roby family, i am sorry for your loss. I grew up watching Reggie punt, but i never knew that he connected with so many people off field. Its good to know in a world with so much hate, we had (hopefully still have) people like Reggie Roby.
Joe Ryzner
January 24, 2007
william roby
December 23, 2006
Hello to the family of Reggie Roby, I work at bank and someone was telling how great a punter he was. This conversation came about because my last name is Roby as well. I went online and found this website because I did not know he was gone. My deepest sympathy is to the family.
Tynesia Roby
December 4, 2006
You were a great man that was taken away from us much too soon. I am comforted to know that you are now walking with the Lord. Your life long friend, Kym Ammons-Scott
Kym Ammons-Scott
November 28, 2006
Hi, My son and I were just talking about what a great punter Reggie was. My son is 15 years old and was to young to see Reggie in action. He was truly one of the best.
Thomas Moffitt
November 15, 2006
RIP Reggie Roby! My mother Marion Shannon use to babysit Reggie when he was a kid. She was his cousin. She said, all he wanted to do was go outside and play with his football, when he was a little kid. He is a legend.
Corey Shannon
September 23, 2006
Coach Reggie Roby was my coach when I played for the Dolphins in Back Feild In Motion. He was the greatest coach I ever had In my life man I miss him so much
Pierre McDonald #53 Dolphins
Pierre McDonald
September 7, 2006
wow, soo many nice things said about my dad...thank you all. even though we didnt have the chance to get close i still hurt daily, but nobody can know. It is comforting to read these and once again i thank you.

i miss you...
Bry Roby
August 28, 2006
wael salah
August 25, 2006
Hey this is Brittany Roby his daughter. I just found this website and it blew me away! I had no idea that soo many people had so many nice things to say about him. Thank you so much for all of the prayers and nice things for our family and my father. Please feel free to emial if you would like. Once agian thanks for your prayers. [email protected]
Brittany Roby
August 23, 2006
In the early 90's, I attended a training camp in Miami to watch the team practice, and got to meet Reggie and take some pictures and he signed autographs for me, he asked me where i was from, I told him I grew up in Pompano Beach but now lived in Virginia and I asked him if I could have a souvineer to take with him, he smiled and said yes, he went into the locker room and returned with his right cleat and he signed it Ouch! and put the date Dec 22, the date he ruptured his ankle in the game vs. the jets. I still have the cleat in my locked case. Reggie was a great punter and a better human.
Bud Walker
August 20, 2006
I had the fortunate oppurtunity to have played with Reggie in 1995 with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Watching him in practice was like a kid in a candy store. He truly amazed his teamates and coaches with his God Bless talent every time he punted the ball. I can recall one game we had in 1995 against the Cleveland Browns in which Regie suffered a broken nose on one of his rarely blocked punts. While sitting next to Reggie on the plane returning home I notice that his nose was actually sitting on his forehead broke in several places. It was then that I asked Reggie " Hey man are you O.K, cause your nose looks like somebody.....and then...." Reggie turned and stared at me with an evil look and burst out laughing. We laugh all night even though we lost the game. Reggie carried himself on and off the field like a class act. Its truly wondeful to have watched as a kid one of your favorite players in the NFL and then step on the field an have that same player as your teamate. Rest in Peace Bother and may God and his Angels watch over your family.
Errict Rhett
August 18, 2006
Reggie Roby was indeed one of the best punters in the league.

Rest In Peace Roby, you are missed.
Mark Geuy
August 14, 2006
When I clicked on this page & saw his photo I started to cry. I was fortunate to be in Reggie & Melissa's wedding party in Hawaii & have RR as Godfather to my daughter. Reggie really never knew how great he was. A good football player too! I really miss you my friend!
Phil Santamassino
August 8, 2006
Reggie, you were without a doubt the best punter in the history of the NFL. May God shine His blessings on your family while you are hanging out in Heaven.
Ron Nichols
August 7, 2006
My thoughts and prayer's goes out to the Roby family. As a kid I liked and watched reggie play football because he had my exact name and after that I saw that he was a great kicker. God bless.
Reggie Roby
May 31, 2006
Reggie is a great role model of dream is to be an NFL punter and who not better to study than Reggie. My words are fruitless to his passing but he is in a better place and i hope that i can get my dream because i owe it to him....
Cort Johnson
May 20, 2006
You will always be remebered and never forgotten. Rest in peace cus.
Raymond Norman
May 18, 2006
Sitting at home reflecting on my childhood and people from the past, one of the people that crossed my mind was Reggie. I can remember going to school with his sister Dedria, and him and my brother John were good friends. I remember him coming to the house after school and sitting on the front steps until John finished his house chores and then they would head to "the field"(corner of Fourth and Newell). They would soon be joined by some of their other classmates, Ted Keys, Bobby Franklin, Dwight Fox,Johnny Coney, to name a few and the game would begin. I was always amazed at how far Reggie could kick the ball. One day he kicked the ball and it went acroos Fourth Street and over the laundromat and hit the top of the Anderson's house on the other side. WOW, everybody just stopped and really couldn't beleive it. People in cars stopped and told him he was going to be a great football player. All Reggie wanted to do was see how many more times he could repeat this kick(quite a few), and the other boys wanted to see if they could match him (none even came close).
But even after going on to college and then to the NFL, he never changed from that person that played football in the field. He was never a arrogant person he was still "Reggie." He is one of many that has put Waterloo, Iowa on the map. Who would have thought.

To the family I give my condolences, and will continue to pray for you, as the healing process is still fresh even at this time. To his children your father was always a posative person, please continue his legacy.
Jacqui Polk
April 12, 2006
Best Kicker in the NFL !!!
You and your Family are always in your Prayers
PetSpa USA,Inc.
January 30, 2006
I met Reggie in 1985 at a Walter Camp weekend in New Haven CT. I was a high school football fan and enjoyed seeing all the college and pro stars come to town. Reggie was exceptionally nice and let me and friends hang out with him all weekend, even taking us to Dan MArino's room for autographs. He went out of his way to give us a great memory. What a nice man. I am sorry he is no longer with us.
K Gustin
January 29, 2006
My deepest sympathy to the Roby family. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. I am a true Hawkeye fan and Reggie was one of the all time greats!!! His career at Iowa and with the NFL will be one for the ages and it pains me to see such a great person pass on.

God bless you Mrs. Roby and all your Children. And May God Bless Reggie!!
Dan Staebell
January 23, 2006
He had a leg extension that would make a Rockette green with envy. Watching him punt was like poetry in motion. Even though it has been a while since his passing, I am still stunned.
There will never be another one like him.

Gone but not forgotten
Jill F
January 14, 2006
He was more than just a leg- He was an American institution.
Jim Hunnicutt
January 13, 2006
Roby-One-Kanobi...Son of Roby...The Prince of Punt...Johnny Hangtime...Tommy Touchback...The Duke of 4th and Long...

Rarely did he shank when the strategic game of field position was being played. His foot was firm and the cannon he called a leg always rose high. High like the heavens his soul now resides.

We miss you Roby
Kris Boyce
January 13, 2006
Eric Floyd
January 13, 2006
Hail! The sons of Roby
eric floyd
January 13, 2006
As a Jet fan, I can say this is the ONLY dolphin I have respect for.
John Werner
January 12, 2006
Melissa and family, I saw reggie play in a high school play-off game in Clinton, Iowa when he was with Waterloo Central. Most people probably don't know that he was also an outstanding placekicker. What an incredable athlete! My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Don Buelow
January 11, 2006
one of the greatest punters to ever play. My heart goes out to the family
Dave Reed
January 11, 2006
The greatest punter to EVER play the game. Thanks for the memories!! May God Bless your family and welcome you into his arms.
J.J. Castro
January 11, 2006
The only punter i ever truly enjoyed watching, that hangtime, that wristwatch, Reggie, you will always be the greatest.
Brian Yarbrough
January 10, 2006
Full extension, baby. Bottom of foot facing the sky or the crest of the dome, and leg straight up as if he was imitating a captial "I," as the ball cascades downfield as if dropped from another galaxy. Perfect follow-through. Punters and kickers do not have to be boring. This professional, Reggie Roby, wasn't. Peace to the family. Sorry to hear he is gone.
Donnie Phillips II
January 9, 2006
I met Reggie and his wife when I lived in Parkland Florida. He was the most down to earth person I have ever met and I will sorely miss him.God Bless You Melissa and Rest In Peace Reggie. We Love You.
Sheri Queen
January 3, 2006
I was shocked and dismayed when I heard of the passing of Mr. Roby in the NFL year end wrap up. I was fortunate to watch him punt from the field once. I was amazed how fast that ball got small. My condolences to his extended family and his wife and six children
Tom Moore
January 2, 2006
You were amazing to watch!! I will keep you in my prayers.
Michael Everts
January 2, 2006
Growing up in Canada I enjoyed watching Reggie's impressive and consistant performances year after year. Rest in peace Sir, and best wishes to your friends and family. Thank you for the memories.
Thomas George
January 1, 2006
Like many others I was shocked to see Reggie listed as passing this past year. He was a hero to so many and an absolute joy to watch on the field. My sincere condolances to his family. He left a great mark on football field, as well as in our hearts.
Jeff Woodcock
January 1, 2006
While watching the games today, Dec. 31, 2005, they showed the names and faces of those lost by the NFL in 2005. I was shocked to see Reggie Roby. I had not heard of his passing. My memories of Reggie was a man who never seemed to be rushed by anything and then suddenly crush the ball. The other memory brings a smile to my face. Some sportscaster pointed out that Reggie Roby was probably the only player to wear a watch on the field. Rest in piece, Reg. Now you have all the time in the world.
Reg Mason
January 1, 2006
I was fortunate enough to have spent my Sundays watching Reggie Roby punt. In my opinion he was the only NFL punter that fans actually looked forward to seeing trot onto the field. I remember thinking, man he's big for a punter..and then 2 steps...leg planted, other leg vertical to the tip of the nose guard and BOOM...WOW, what a treat!!

I was fortunate enough to meet him shortly after his retirement, and simply told him the same thing i write here..Reggie Roby, what a pleasure to meet the best punter that ever played the game.
A Macken
December 31, 2005
I am very sorry for the Roby family loss.Reggie was a great football player and will always be rememberd as such.Reggie Roby and Ray Guy will always be the two best punters that have ever played the game to me. Once again my condolences to his family.
Dave Coppock
December 31, 2005
sorry to here about has death
December 31, 2005
I am just hearing about Reggie Roby's death and it came as a shock. I remember Reggie when he played for the Dophins. PERFECT FORM. I just loved watching him punt.
Richard Catto
December 31, 2005
May God continue to bless you all. What a tremendous man and loss. Go Hawks!
October 28, 2005
dear melissa,
you and your family are in my prayers.
-kara gallagher
kara gallagher
May 5, 2005
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