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Former Jets punter Greg Gantt dies

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Former Alabama and New York Jets punter Greg Gantt, who may be best known for having two punts blocked in a 17-16 loss to Auburn in 1972, has died. His sister, Patricia Gant, said Gantt died Wednesday of complications from heart disease and diabetes.

He was 59. Gantt led the Southeastern Conference in punting for three seasons from 1971-73 and also kicked long field goals for the Crimson Tide. He is tied with two other kickers for the longest field goal in Cotton Bowl history, a 50-yarder against Texas in 1973. He punted for the New York Jets in 1974 and 1975.

Patricia Gantt said at first it bothered her brother that he was possibly best known for the two punts blocked and returned for touchdowns in the "Punt, 'Bama, Punt" game.

"He got over it. That's what most people remembered most," she said.

Alabama was undefeated going into the 1972 Iron Bowl and was leading 16-3 in the fourth quarter when two Gantt punts were blocked by Auburn's Billl Newton and were returned for touchdowns by David Langner. Langner and Gantt had been teammates at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham.

Gantt's death was first reported by The Birmingham News.

After leaving the Jets, Gantt returned to Birmingham where he worked in the recycling business.

Graveside service for Gantt will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Southern Heritage Cemetery in Pelham.

Survivors include two sisters and two daughters.

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