Mack Lee Hill

Mack Lee Hill (August 17, 1940 – December 14, 1965) was an American football player, a running back at Southern University and for the American Football League's Kansas City Chiefs. He died suddenly after undergoing knee surgery, two days after a game against the Buffalo Bills.[1][2]

Mack Lee Hill
refer to caption
circa 1965
No. 36
Personal information
Born:August 17, 1940
Quincy, Florida
Died:December 14, 1965 (aged 25)
Kansas City, Missouri
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Quincy (FL) Carter-Parramore
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:1,203
Yards per carry:5.2
Receiving yards:408
Total touchdowns:9
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR


Born and raised in Quincy, Florida, Hill made the Chiefs' roster in 1964 as a rookie free agent out of Southern University in New Orleans, signing for only $300, with an agreement he would only be paid he made the lineup.[3] He wound up as the team's second-leading rusher that season with 567 yards and four touchdowns on 105 carries. Hill played in the AFL All-Star Game after his rookie campaign. He gained 627 yards, second-most on the team, in 1965, even though he did not complete the season, dying in knee surgery after the 12th game. He was nicknamed "The Truck."


Hill tore a ligament in his right knee in the regular season's penultimate game against the Bills on December 12, forcing him to undergo season-ending surgery on that knee two days later at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City.[2] He was still on the operating table when his temperature suddenly spiked to 108 °F (42 °C), triggering severe convulsions, and he died 1½ hours after surgery. Doctors said he suffered a "sudden and massive embolism."[2][3][4]

Team doctor Albert R. Miller said the embolism could have been caused by a fat globule breaking off and entering the bloodstream, or it could have been triggered by a severe reaction to the anesthesia.[3]

Head coach Hank Stram said, "Mack Lee Hill was a fine gentleman and a great football player. He was probably one of the most unselfish players I have ever coached. He was completely dedicated to the team. Football was his life."[3]

Through Hill's inspiration, the Chiefs created the Mack Lee Hill Award, which is given each season to the team's most outstanding rookie. His No. 36 jersey has been retired.

He had one son.

See also


  1. ^ "Kansas City fullback dies". Washington Observer. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. December 15, 1965. p. 30.
  2. ^ a b c "Mack Lee Hill is dead at 25 after surgery". Lawrence Journal-World. Kansas. Associated Press. December 15, 1965. p. 26.
  3. ^ a b c d Greene, Bob (December 15, 1965). "Kansas City fullback dies after surgery". Nashua Telegraph. New Hampshire. Associated Press. p. 22.
  4. ^ Powers, Iana. "Jovan Belcher's suicide joins Stone Johnson, Mack Lee Hill, Joe Delaney and Derrick Thomas on Kansas City Chiefs' list of tragedies". NY Daily News (December 1, 2012). Retrieved April 10, 2015.

External links

1964 American Football League draft

The 1964 American Football League draft was held in New York City on Saturday, November 30, 1963.The first selection was quarterback John Concannon of Boston College, taken by the Boston Patriots. The NFL draft was held two days later in Chicago.

1964 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1964 Kansas City Chiefs season was the 5th season for the Kansas City Chiefs as a professional AFL franchise; The Chiefs began the year with a 2–1 mark before dropping three consecutive games as several of the team's best players, including E.J. Holub, Fred Arbanas and Johnny Robinson, missed numerous games with injuries. Arbanas missed the final two games of the year after undergoing surgery to his left eye, in which he suffered almost total loss of vision. Running back Mack Lee Hill, who signed with the club as a rookie free agent and received a mere $300 signing bonus, muscled his way into the starting lineup and earned a spot in the AFL All-Star Game. The club rounded out the season with two consecutive wins to close the season at 7–7, finishing second in the AFL Western Conference behind the San Diego Chargers. An average of just 18,126 fans attended each home game at Municipal Stadium, prompting discussion at the AFL owners’ meeting about the Chiefs future in Kansas City.

1965 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1965 Kansas City Chiefs season was the 6th season for the Kansas City Chiefs as a professional AFL franchise; they finished with a 7–5–2 record and missed the AFL playoffs.

For the 1965 season, the Chiefs were caught in the middle of the AFL and NFL's bidding wars for college talent. Kansas City made running back Gale Sayers from the University of Kansas their first-round draft pick, but Sayers eventually signed with the Chicago Bears, who had also drafted him with their first pick in the NFL's draft.The club suffered a devastating blow late in the 1965 season when running back Mack Lee Hill suffered torn ligaments in his right knee in the next-to-last regular season game of the year at Buffalo on December 12. Following what was expected to be a routine surgery on December 14 at Menorah Hospital in Kansas City, Hill died from what was termed "a sudden and massive embolism." Hunt called Hill's death "the worst shock possible." Just days after Hill's unexpected death, the mourning Chiefs defeated the Denver Broncos on December 19 to finish the year with a 7–5–2 record.

Andrew Wylie (American football)

Andrew Wylie (born September 19, 1994) is an American football offensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Eastern Michigan University.

Eric Harris (gridiron football)

Eric Wayne "Coochie" Harris (August 11, 1955 – February 19, 2012) was a gridiron football defensive back. Drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1977, Harris was convinced to play Canadian football in the Canadian Football League by Leo Cahill. He played for the Toronto Argonauts from 1977 to 1979. He then played American football for six seasons in the National Football League for the Kansas City Chiefs (1980–1982) and the Los Angeles Rams (1983–1985).

On February 27, 1981, The Committee of 101's 12th Annual salute to professional football presented Eric with the Mack Lee Hill Award.

Gary Barbaro

Gary Wayne Barbaro (born February 11, 1954) is a former free safety who played seven seasons in the National Football League from 1976 to 1982 and one season in the United States Football League (USFL) in 1984. A third round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs from Nicholls State University, he had 39 career interceptions and was selected to participate in three Pro Bowls.

Justin Houston

Justin Donovan Houston (born January 21, 1989) is an American football linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Georgia, where he earned All-American honors, and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he was also named to the All-Pro team in 2014.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The team was founded in 1960 as the Dallas Texans by businessman Lamar Hunt and was a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). (They are not associated with the NFL Dallas Texans.) In 1963, the team relocated to Kansas City and assumed their current name. The Chiefs joined the NFL as a result of the merger in 1970. The team is valued at over $2 billion. Hunt's son, Clark, serves as chairman and CEO. While Hunt's ownership stakes passed collectively to his widow and children after his death in 2006, Clark represents the Chiefs at all league meetings and has ultimate authority on personnel changes.

The Chiefs have won three AFL championships, in 1962, 1966, and 1969. They became the second AFL team (after the New York Jets) to defeat an NFL team in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. The team's victory on January 11, 1970, remains the club's last championship game victory and appearance to date, and occurred in the final such competition prior to the leagues' merger coming into full effect. The Chiefs were also the second team, after the Green Bay Packers, to appear in more than one Super Bowl (and the first AFL team to do so) and the first to appear in the championship game in two different decades. Despite post-season success early in the franchise's history, winning five of their first six postseason games, the team has struggled to find success in the playoffs since. As of the conclusion of the 2018–19 playoffs, they have lost 12 of their last 14 playoff games, including eight straight, at the time the longest playoff losing streak in NFL history. The playoff losing streak stretched from the 1993-94 AFC Championship game to the 2013-14 Divisional Round. The only playoffs wins over the last 14 playoff games were a 30–0 win over the Texans in the 2015–16 playoffs and a 31–13 over the Colts in the 2018–19 playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs awards

This page details awards won by the Kansas City Chiefs, a professional American football team from the National Football League. The Chiefs have never had a winner of the Coach of the Year award, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year. The Chiefs are tied with the Chicago Bears for the most winners of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award with 5.

The most recent winner of a major NFL award is Patrick Mahomes who won league MVP for the 2018 season, the Chiefs first ever winner of league MVP.

The Chiefs have two awards that are awarded by the team which are voted on by the players and coaches. The Derrick Thomas award is awarded to the team MVP and the Mack Lee Hill award is awarded to the Rookie of the Year.

List of American Football League players

The following is a list of men who played for the American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969).

List of Kansas City Chiefs players

This is a select list of players from the Kansas City Chiefs football team from the National Football League.

For more information, see Kansas City Chiefs.

Lloyd Burruss

Lloyd Earl Burruss Jr. (born October 31, 1957 in Charlottesville, Virginia) is a former American football safety who played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1981-1991 in the National Football League. He is the only Chief to ever be the Mack Lee Hill Award winner (1981), the team’s MVP (1985) and a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame (1999).

Of his 22 interceptions, 4 of them went for touchdowns. he also scored a touchdown via fumble recovery. During the 1980s, Burruss average 63 tackles per season

Marcus Cooper

Marcus Cooper Sr. (born February 1, 1990) is an American football cornerback for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football for Rutgers University. Cooper has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, and Chicago Bears.

Maurice Leggett

Maurice Lamar Leggett (also known as Mo Leggett) (born October 2, 1986 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania) is an American football cornerback who is currently a free agent. He was most recently a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in May 2008. He played college football for Valdosta State University.

Mike Maslowski

Michael John Maslowski (born July 11, 1974) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Kansas City Chiefs. He attended the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

Mr. Irrelevant

Mr. Irrelevant is the title bestowed each year upon the last pick of the annual National Football League draft. Although the NFL Draft dates back to 1936, the first person to officially be given the "Mr. Irrelevant" title was Kelvin Kirk, pick number 487 of the 1976 draft. The current Mr. Irrelevant is Caleb Wilson, former tight end for the UCLA Bruins, who was picked 254th by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 draft.

Ryan Succop

Ryan Barrow Succop ( "suck-up"; born September 19, 1986) is an American football placekicker for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He became the 2009 Mr. Irrelevant by virtue of being selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the final pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. Succop played college football at South Carolina.

Tamba Hali

Tamba Boimah Hali (born November 3, 1983) is a Liberian-born American football linebacker who is a free agent. He played college football at Penn State, where he earned All-American honors, and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

Playoff appearances (20)
Division championships (10)
League championships (3)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (59)

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