Class of: 1982
Team: Detriot Lions
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The first football game Garo Yepremian played in was the first game he ever saw in person. Prior to his football kicking career, Garo knew nothing about American football. His brothers convinced the Detroit Lions to give him a tryout. He played for the Lions 1966-1967, the Miami Dolphins 1970-178, the New Orleans Saints in 1979, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1980-1981. His rookie year, he broke a record by kicking six field goals against the Vikings.
As a foreigner, he was a key target for other NFL players who were looking to take his head off and before his first kick his coach told him to run to the bench as soon as he could before his opponents could lay into him. After the kick, he ran to the wrong bench. In 1971, he led the league in points with 117. In 1972, during the “Perfect Season”, Garo was the leading scorer and converted on many clutch field goals to help Dolphins stay unbeaten. Garo appeared in three Super Bowls (VI, VII, and VIII). In the 1974 Pro Bowl, Garo kicked five field goals to lead the AFC team to a win and he was voted MVP of the game. In 1979, he had twenty consecutive field goals. In his career, he hit 210 of 313 field goals and 444 of 464 extra points for a total of 1,074 points. He was voted Kicker of the Decade by Pro Football Hall of Fame and by Sports Illustrated between 1970 and 1980.
Garo became a motivational speaker and is the founder/CEO of the Garo Yepremian Foundation for Brain Tumor Research.