Kevin Greene, Corridor of Fame go rusher who performed with 4 groups in 15 NFL seasons, dies at 58


Kevin Greene, a Corridor of Fame go rusher who later gained a Tremendous Bowl as an assistant coach, died on Monday on the age of 58. Greene, who spent components of 15 NFL seasons with the Rams, Steelers, 49ers, and Panthers, retired with 160 profession sacks following the 1999 season. Greene spent one other seven seasons within the NFL as an out of doors linebackers coach, successful a Tremendous Bowl ring with the Packers in 2010. 

Greene, whose standout faculty profession at Auburn together with successful the Zeke Smith Award because the nation’s Defensive Participant of the Yr in 1984, was a member of the NFL‘s Nineteen Nineties All-Decade Staff. He was included within the Steelers’ inaugural Corridor of Honor class in 2017. Greene’s NFL profession was immortalized within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2016. 

“Your complete Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame household mourns the passing of Kevin Greene,” mentioned Corridor of Fame President and CEO David Baker. “I regarded him as a private pal and a real Corridor of Famer in each sense. He possessed probably the most unimaginable can-do angle of anybody I ever met. He was an important participant, however greater than that, he was an important man.

“Our ideas and prayers are with Kevin’s spouse, Tara, and their whole household. We are going to ceaselessly preserve his legacy alive to function inspiration for future generations. The Corridor of Fame flag can be flown at half-staff in Kevin’s reminiscence.”

Regardless of solely spending three seasons in Pittsburgh, Greene selected the Steelers because the group he needed representing him in Canton, Ohio. Following a profitable eight-year run with the Rams, Greene signed with the Steelers as a free agent in 1993. Throughout his three years in Pittsburgh, the “Blitzburgh” Steelers tallied 139 sacks, the most effective within the NFL. 

Greene led the NFL with 14 sacks in 1994. In 1995, he helped spearhead Pittsburgh’s run to an AFC title. And regardless of falling to the Cowboys in Tremendous Bowl XXX, Greene and his teammates held Emmitt Smith to simply 49 yards speeding whereas holding Dallas’ high-powered offense to simply 64 yards within the second half. 

“They love their soccer, however they love their defensive soccer,” Greene mentioned of the Steelers in an NFL movies documentary. “They bear in mind the Jack Lamberts, the Imply Joe Greenes again within the day. They need to see that once more. They need to see that form of viciousness. And I simply fed off that power of Steeler Nation. It was nearly like soccer heaven.”

The sensation was mutual in Pittsburgh because it associated to Greene and the Steelers’ passionate fan base. 

“This can be a hard-working man enjoying in a hard-working metropolis,” mentioned Steelers Corridor of Fame coach Invoice Cowher. “And boy, he turned a fan-favorite fairly shortly along with his flowing locked hair.” 

Greene supplied an analogous spark with the Panthers in 1996. After going 7-9 and its inaugural season, the Panthers went 12-4 in 1996, with Greene recording a league-high 14.5 sacks. The Panthers then recorded their first-ever playoff win, a 26-17 win over the defending champion Cowboys, earlier than bowing out to the eventual champion Packers within the NFC title recreation. 

Greene made his fourth consecutive convention title recreation look the next season with the 49ers, because the 35-year-old go rusher tallied 10.5 sacks throughout his one season in San Francisco. Throughout his last two seasons, each with the Panthers, Greene tallied 15 and 12 sacks earlier than calling it a profession after the 1999 season. 

After a decade faraway from the NFL, Greene returned to the sport because the Packers’ exterior linebackers coach in 2009, the identical yr Inexperienced Bay spent a first-round choose on Clay Matthews. Throughout his 5 seasons working with Greene, Matthews was named to 4 Professional Bowls. He was an All-Professional in 2010, the yr he helped Greene win his first and solely Tremendous Bowl ring. Matthews’ compelled fumble late in Tremendous Bowl XLV helped the Packers defeat the Steelers, 31-25. 

“It was bitter candy to beat the Steelers, nevertheless it was a beautiful, particular second in time,” Greene mentioned. “Was lastly capable of get a Tremendous Bowl ring. It was simply superior.” 

“KG was a warrior on the sphere, and he introduced his similar hearth and tenacity to his teaching,” Matthews wrote through Twitter on Monday night time. “A lot of my success was a direct results of him, however he was a lot greater than a coach.”

Like Matthews, Greene was a school walk-on. Greene really tried to stroll on as a punter at Auburn earlier than he was requested to affix the group’s observe squad. Greene, after momentarily strolling away from soccer, instantly impressed former Auburn coach Pat Dye throughout offseason exercises heading into the 1984 season. 

“It was a chilly morning in January, and swiftly I lookup and see this man successful each race and each competitors,” Dye recalled. “He seems to be like a Greek God. I referred to as one of many coaches and I mentioned, ‘Who within the hell is that?’ He mentioned, ‘Kevin Greene.’ I mentioned, ‘The place did he come from?’

“He had the bodily instruments and talent, and he got here with a vengeance. However the factor that set him aside was the factor he had inside him. He performed the sport with each monocle in his physique.” 

That fall, Greene and future Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson led the Tigers to an SEC title. Greene’s success that fall led to him being chosen by the Rams within the 1985 draft. Greene helped the Rams seem within the postseason 4 occasions throughout a five-year span that included two NFC title recreation appearances. 

Greene’s soccer life got here full circle in the summertime of 2016 when he joined soccer’s best gamers in Canton, Ohio. 

“If you concentrate on it, perhaps the most effective a soccer participant can do is exhaust his ardour and exit on his personal phrases,” Greene mentioned throughout his induction speech. “And alongside the way in which, have enjoyable kicking peoples’ asses along with your brothers, entertain some people, develop some lifelong relationships, and have sufficient good well being to play some soccer along with your son and daughter within the entrance yard.” 





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