CANTON, OH. (FAMU ATHLETICS) — Florida A&M and Cincinnati Bengals legend Ken Riley has been named a Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalist after retiring 40 years ago.
Ken Riley epitomized Rattler greatness. The Florida A&M alum left behind a lasting imprint as a former football student-athlete, head coach, and athletics director at the University, and his legacy continued with a recent election to the Cincinnati Bengals' inaugural Ring of Honor.
Riley passed in 2020 at the age of 72, nearly four decades after retiring from the franchise he spent his entire playing career (1969-83). He recorded 65 interceptions in 207 starts for the Bengals, a tally that ranks the fifth most in NFL history and still sits atop the franchise's all-time list today.
A four-year letter winner at quarterback for Florida A&M, Riley guided the Rattlers to a 23-7 record and three Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles. He took over head coaching duties at his alma mater in 1986, and an eight-year stint featured two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championships and a pair of MEAC Coach of the Year honors.
Riley also served as the Rattlers' athletics director from 1993-2004.
His esteemed career garnered inductions into the FAMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982, the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Cincinnati Bengals inaugural Ring of Honor in 2021.
The Class of 2023 will be unveiled publicly on Feb. 9 during the NFL Honors broadcast from Phoenix on NFL Network, NBC, and Peacock.