Open main menu

Dennis Byrd (American football, born 1946)

Dennis Wayne Byrd (August 31, 1946 – July 22, 2010)[1] was one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the Atlantic Coast Conference history earning first team All-ACC honors in each of his three years of varsity competition at North Carolina State University and was a consensus first-team All-American as a Senior in 1967.

Dennis Byrd
Born:(1946-08-31)August 31, 1946
Pleasant Garden, North Carolina
Died:July 22, 2010(2010-07-22) (aged 63)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Career information
Position(s)Defensive tackle
Defensive end
CollegeNorth Carolina State
NFL draft1968 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
As player
1968Boston Patriots (AFL)


College Career at NC StateEdit

Byrd made several first-team All-America lists as a Junior in 1966 and was a consensus first-team All-American as a Senior in 1967. He was the first player from NC State to become a consensus First-Team All-American and was the first three-time All-ACC player in conference history.

Professional careerEdit

Byrd was drafted number six in the first round of the 1968 NFL Draft by the Boston Patriots. Byrd started 14 games for the 1968 Patriots team but he was never able to fully recover from a knee injury he suffered in his senior year at NC State and only played one year in the NFL.

After leaving the NFL, Byrd became the high school football coach at West Lincoln High School in Lincolnton, North Carolina, retiring in 2004.


In 2001, Byrd became the first defensive player at NC State to have his jersey number (77) retired. He was selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary Football Team in 2003. Byrd was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2014, he was inducted into the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame.