Born: March 10, 1946
Yuma (Arizona) High School is the place where Curley Culp discovered his interest in team sports. Playing both varsity football and wrestling, his talent and strength soon became evident, winning back-to-back state heavyweight wrestling championships in 1963 and 1964.
Participating in two sports, Curley received numerous awards and recog-nition for his academic and athletic accomplishments. Two of the high-lights of his college career was being named as an All-American football player and winning the NCAA 1967 heavyweight wrestling championship.
The Denver Broncos recognized his dominance on the defensive line, and in 1968 he was selected in the second round of the AFL draft. Leaving ASU one semester before graduation, Curley would return after winning SuperBowl IV to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in 1970.
After arriving in Denver to begin his professional career with the Broncos, head coach Lou Saban, attempted to switch him from defensive tackle to offensive guard during preseason, and when the experiment did not work, he was eventually traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.
As a Chief, Curley became an essential part of the franchise's amazing defense, and was soon touted as one of the quickest and strongest defensive linemen in the National Football League. As a tribute to his remarkable contributions, Kansas City Chiefs inducted him into the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame in 2008.
Curley maintained his powerful defensive performance after a trade with the Houston Oilers in 1974. His presence helped shore up the Oilers defense, as Curley became an integral part of the franchise's successful turnaround. The Newspaper Enterprise Association recognized his outstanding defensive play in 1975 when he was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. Curley played in 179 games during 14 seasons of professional football, representing the Chiefs from 1968 to 1974 and the Oilers from 1974 to 1980.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Often asked if Curley (with an “e”) is his given first name, the answer is yes! Born 15 minutes before Curley, he has a twin sister named Shirley.