Chiefs Hall of Honor


Joe Delaney

Joe Delaney



Born: October 20, 1958 (Henderson, TX)

College: Northwestern State (LA)

Drafted: By Chiefs, 1981 / 2nd Rd (41st overall)

Career Highlights:

  • AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, 1981
  • All-AFC, 1981
  • Chiefs MVP, 1981
  • AFC Rookie of the Year, 1981
  • Chiefs Hall of Fame Inductee, 2004

A second-round draft pick from Northwestern State (LA) in 1981, Delaney was a sensation his rookie year, gaining 1,121 yards and helping the Chiefs to their first winning record since 1973. Possessing an approachable demeanor and a high-pitched laugh, he was popular with teammates and in the Kansas City community, where he was well-known for numerous charitable deeds. On June 29, 1983, Delaney drowned while trying to rescue three boys in a swimming hole in Monroe, Louisiana. Shortly after his death, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal by President Ronald Reagan. Teammate Tom Condon said that Delaney possessed “all the qualities and character traits that you look up to in great people: Courage, tenacity, honesty, loyalty.”

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