John Zook, member of Memorial Stadium’s Ring of Honor, passed away on Saturday per the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (not Sunday) at age 72.
Zook was a key defensive cog on KU’s 1968 Orange Bowl run, and would follow his college career with nine seasons in the NFL. A fourth-round NFL draft pick (#99 overall), Zook spent most of his professional football career in Atlanta, where he has the distinction of recording the first safety in Falcon’s franchise history. Zook notably played in every single game in which he suited up for the Falcons, as well as starting 97 out of 98 contests. Zook was named an NFL All-Pro in 1973.
A native of Larned, KS, Zook was also inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He was a two-time All Big-8 selection during him time as a Jayhawk, as well as a first-team AP All-American in 1968. But perhaps most notably, Zook was selected as a starting defensive end on RCT’s all-time football roster.
Per the Hutchinson News, funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced at a later date by Beckwith Mortuary, Larned.