Haughton High Class of 1977
- Joe Delaney
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Memories of Joe Delaney
Joe Alton Delaney, October 30, 1958 - June 29, 1983, was a football player and 1977 graduate of Haughton High School who played two seasons in the National Football League with the Kansas City Chiefs. In his two seasons with the Chiefs, Delaney set four franchise records that would stand for over 20 years and was chosen as the AFC Rookie of the Year in 1981 by United Press International. In his rookie season, he was selected to the Pro Bowl after setting Chiefs records for most yards in a season (1,121), most yards in a game (193 vs. Houston), most consecutive 100-yard-plus games (three) and most 100-yard games in a season (five).
He was a two-time All-American athlete for the Northwestern State Demons, as well as a track and field star. In high school, he ran the 100 yard dash in 9.4 seconds and was on the Northwestern State track and field team, which won the NCAA 400-meter relay in 1981. He holds the school 200 meter dash record with a time of 20.64 seconds.
Delaney died on June 29, 1983 while attempting to rescue three children from drowning in a lake in Monroe, La. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen's Medal from President Ronald Reagan. While not officially retired, his Chief's jersey number, #37, has not been worn since his death. He was elected to the team's Hall of Fame in 2004 and his name is included in the Chiefs' Ring of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium.
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