NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Former University of Notre Dame offensive and defensive lineman and six-time Miami Dolphins Pro-Bowler Bob Kuechenberg passed away on Friday. He was 71.
Kuechenberg, a 1969 graduate of the University, was the Monogram Club MVP for the defense following his senior season in 1968, when the Irish went 7-2-1 under Ara Parseghian. In his last two seasons at defensive end in 1967 and 1968, he totaled 76 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, six pass break-ups and two fumble recoveries. He was a sophomore starting offensive tackle on the 1966 national championship team that finished 9-0-1.
The Hobart, Indiana, native was selected in the fourth round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, but spent only training camp with the team before playing a season of semi-pro football with the Chicago Owls of the Continental Football League. Kuechenberg signed as a free agent with the Dolphins in 1970 and spent the next 14 seasons with the franchise as an offensive lineman.
Within his first four seasons with Miami, Kuechenberg helped lead the Dolphins to three straight Super Bowls, winning back-to-back titles in 1972 (when the team went 17-0) and ’73. During that run, he started 41 of 42 games.
Kuechenberg was named to the Pro Bowl six times (’74, ’75, ’77, ’78, ’82 and ’83). He was twice named first team All-Pro (’75, ’78) and once second team All-Pro (’77). He was inducted into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll in 1995. His 14 season in Miami trail only Dan Marino’s 17, and his 19 playoff games with the Dolphins are still the most in franchise history.