CINCINNATI (AP) — Coy Bacon, a defensive lineman and fierce pass rusher during a 14-year N.F.L. career with the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego, Cincinnati and Washington, died Monday in his hometown, Ironton, in southern Ohio. He was 66.
The Cincinnati Bengals announced his death but did not disclose the cause.
Bacon played for the Rams from 1968 to 1972, when he made the first of his three Pro Bowls. The Rams traded Bacon and running back Bob Thomas to San Diego for quarterback John Hadl. Bacon had an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown in his first season with the Chargers.
The Chargers traded Bacon to the Bengals in 1976 for receiver Charlie Joiner. In Cincinnati, Bacon blossomed into one of the league’s top pass rushers in the days before sacks were recognized as an official N.F.L. statistic.
“Coy was a tremendous player for the Bengals, the greatest pass rusher our team has ever had,” the Bengals’ owner, Mike Brown, said in a statement. Bacon made the Pro Bowl in 1976 and 1977 with Cincinnati, then finished his N.F.L. career by playing four years for the Redskins.
Lander McCoy Bacon was born on Aug. 30, 1942, in Cadiz, Ky. He played at Jackson State University but left college before graduation. Never drafted by the N.F.L., he played minor league football before being signed to a free-agent contract by the Dallas Cowboys, but was traded to the Rams.
After retiring from football, he worked briefly as a professional wrestler, was charged in Washington with possession of cocaine, a misdemeanor there, and was later shot in the abdomen in an attack at his apartment, The Los Angeles Times reported. He later became a born-again Christian and left Washington for Ironton, where he worked as a juvenile corrections officer, youth basketball coach and motivational speaker.
Information on survivors was not available.