Bengals great Ken Riley to be inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Posted at 10:36 PM, Feb 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-09 23:06:54-05

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Bengals great Ken Riley, the man known for having the most interceptions by a cornerback for one team, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 was announced during the NFL Honors Thursday night. Riley was one of three senior nominees. Bengals offensive lineman Willie Anderson was a finalist in 2022 and 2023, but did not make the cut.

Riley, who passed away at the age of 72 in 2020, spent 15 seasons in Cincinnati. During that time, he recorded 65 interceptions and was a three-time All-Pro.

A quarterback at Florida A&M, former Bengals head coach Paul Brown converted Riley to the cornerback position when he was drafted in 1969. When he retired, only Hall of Famers Dick Lane, Emlen Tunnell and Paul Krause had recorded more interceptions throughout their career.

After his playing career, Riley coached his alma mater for eight seasons. He then became Florida A&M's athletic director, a position he held until 2003.

"Ken Riley was a wonderful person," Bengals owner Mike Brown said in a statement. "Everyone at all levels with the team respected him. Ken looked out for others. He was known as someone who would help. Had he lived Ken would have been delighted in being selected for the Hall of Fame. Now the Bengals family will have to do that for him. We miss him and we celebrate him."

Riley was inducted into the Bengals Ring of Honor alongside Brown, Anthony Muñoz and Ken Anderson in 2021. Now, he joins Muñoz in the Hall of Fame. Hall of Famers Terrell Owens and Charlie Joiner also spent time in Cincinnati during their careers.

In a release after the Hall of Fame's finalists were announced, Ken Riley II said "I told [my father] 'One day, you're going to do it.'"

Riley is joined by Joe Thomas, Darrelle Revis and more in the Class of 2023.