EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Former New York Giants punter and radio analyst Dave Jennings has died. He was 61.
The Giants announced that Jennings died at his home in Upper Saddle River on Wednesday morning after being informed of his death by his sister, Susan Jennings, and several close friends. Jennings was a graduate of St. Lawrence University in 1974.
The most prolific punter in franchise history, Jennings had battled Parkinsons disease, a chronic degenerative neurological disorder, since 1996.
Jennings, who averaged 40 yards a kick in four years with St. Lawrence, played for the Giants from 1974-84. He holds the franchise records for punts (931, or 405 more than second-place Sean Landeta) and yards (38,792). Jennings was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1978, `79, `80 and `82. He punted a career-high 104 times in 1979, which was the Giants record until Brad Maynard had 111 punts in 1997.
Jennings punted for more than 4,000 yards in a season three times (1979-81) and had a career-best 44.8-yard average in 1980
Dave Jennings was one of the all-time great Giants, John Mara, the Giants president, said. He was a valued member of the Giants family for more than 30 years as a player and a broadcaster, and we were thrilled to include him in our Ring of Honor. More importantly, he was an outstanding person who battled his illness with rare courage and dignity. We will miss him dearly.
Giants chairman Steve Tisch said Jennings lived his life with class and dignity, and he was the ultimate professional as a player and commentator.
Dave is and always will be a Giants Giant, Tisch said.
Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson said Jennings the first player he met joining the team in 1976, describing him as a great guy who was loved by everyone.
The Giants were not very good when Dave and I were teammates in the 1970s, Carson said. Dave was one of the few bright lights on those teams as a punter.
After leaving the Giants, Jennings punted for the Jets from 1985-87. He worked as a radio commentator for Jets games from 1988-2001.
In 2002, Jennings moved into the Giants radio booth with Bob Papa and the late Dick Lynch. He was also a part of the Giants pre and postgame shows. Jennings was replaced in the booth by Carl Banks after the 2007 season and left broadcasting the following year.