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John Riggins

  • Led Centralia High to a 9-0 State Championship in 1966
  • Riggins was the MVP of Super Bowl XVII
  • Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992
Riggins, John
Inducted 1999

Born: August 4, 1949 – Seneca, KS

Graduated: Centralia (KS) H.S., 1967; Kansas University, 1971


Super Bowl MVP, University of Kansas All-American, Number-one draft pick – Centralia’s John Riggins achieved greatness at every level he competed.

High School Highlights

At Centralia High School, the 6’-2”, 220 pound fullback was an imposing figure who averaged over 13 yards per carry and an unbelievable 61 yards on punt returns to lead the Panthers to a 9-0 state championship season in 1966. A two-time indoor track state champ at 60 yards, and two-time state 100 yard dash champ, Riggins displayed incredible speed for a man his size.

Riggins at KU

Riggins was one of the most widely recruited prep athletes in state history before choosing Kansas University. As a sophomore, he was the leading rusher on KU’s Big-8 champ Orange Bowl team. He ran for 2,659 career yards at KU, second only to Gale Sayers at the time.

Professional Career

A number one draft pick of the New York Jets in 1971, Riggins rushed for 11,352 yards and 104 TDs in his 14 season professional career. Both marks ranked among the top 10 NFL history when he retired.  He had five 1,000 yard rushing seasons. He spent nine seasons with the Washington Redskins, helping them to two Super Bowls. Riggins was named MVP of Super Bowl XVII when he ran for a record 166 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown as the Redskins beat the Dolphins 27-17.


Riggins was inducted Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.