ATHENS, Ga. — Bill Stanfill, who was voted the nation’s top college lineman at Georgia and starred on two Super Bowl-winning teams with the Miami Dolphins, has died. He was 69.
He died Thursday night in Albany, the university said in a statement on behalf of the family. No cause of death was given, but Stanfill had numerous health problems after retiring from the NFL.
Stanfill was a fearsome defensive tackle at Georgia, earning All-America honors and capturing the Outland Trophy in 1968 as the nation’s best interior lineman. During his three-year college career, the Bulldogs went 25-7-1 and captured two Southeastern Conference titles.
“Bill was probably the greatest athlete as a lineman I ever coached,” former Georgia coach Vince Dooley said. “He could have been a great tight end as well. Against the triple option, he was the only player that could take the quarterback, the dive back, and the pitch man. Bill was a great person, great warrior, and a great Bulldog.”
Stanfill was a first-round pick of the Dolphins in 1969 and spent his entire eight-year NFL career in Miami. He earned Pro Bowl honors four times as a defensive end and was selected to The Associated Press All-Pro first team in 1972.
With Stanfill leading the famed “No-Name Defense” during the ’72 season, the Dolphins became the only team to win every game — 17-0 — on the way to capturing a Super Bowl title. While the team’s impressive offense received far more publicity, the defense was the league’s best, also featuring linebacker Nick Buoniconti, tackle Manny Fernandez, and safeties Dick Anderson and Jake Scott.
The Dolphins romped to a second straight championship the following year.
Stanfill’s final two seasons were plagued by injuries, and he retired after the 1976 season. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998 with Dooley at his side.