Jim Turner built a 16-year career between the New York Jets and Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos announced the passing of former AFL/NFL kicker Jim Turner on Monday at the age of 82. Turner spent a 16-year professional career between Denver and the New York Jets, serving as the scoring leg during the latter’s historic victory in Super Bowl III.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Denver Broncos Ring of Fame kicker Jim Turner,” the Broncos said in a Monday statement. “While his competitive spirit and reliability defined him as a player, Jim’s dedicated mentorship and support of youth following his career will leave a lasting legacy within our community.”
Turner entered the pros as a free agent with the Jets in 1964 and served as their kicker for seven seasons. The 1968-69 season proved memorable on both a personal and team-wide level for Turner – en route to the Super Bowl, he led the AFL in scoring with 145 points and earned an invitation to the Pro Bowl. In the historic victory over the Baltimore Colts, Turner was responsible for 10 of the Jets’ 16 points, successfully converting three of five triple attempts and booting an extra point after Matt Snell’s touchdown.
Alongside Dallas’ Mike Clark from Super Bowl VI, Turner holds an unbreakable Super Bowl record: his final field goal came from nine yards out, good for the shortest in the game’s history (and rendered impossible today by the adjusted goal post distance).
In the following season, Turner once again led the AFL in scoring at 129, part of a year that saw him finish second in United Press International’s MVP vote.
Turner moved on to the Broncos in 1971 and returned to the Super Bowl in his seventh season with the team. Nine seasons with Denver saw Turner stand as the NFL’s all-time leader in successful field goals (304) upon his departure from the game in 1979. He was inducted into Denver’s Ring of Fame in 1988 and also served as an analyst for NBC’s NFL coverage.
To date, Turner is the third-leading scorer in the history of both the Jets and Broncos franchises. The 34 field goals Turner made during the 1968 season still stand as a New York single-season mark as well.
A Utah State alum, Turner is survived by his wife Mary Kay and daughters Lisa, Chris, and Alison.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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