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John Riggins  

Superbowl MVP, New York Jets and Washington Redskins, Guest Star On Many TV Shows

Born in Seneca, Kansas, John Riggins attended Centralia High School in Centralia, Kansas. A three-sport athlete, he earned All-American recognition in football, all-state honors in basketball and twice won the Class B 100-yard dash state title.

Riggins then went on to play football at the University of Kansas, earning All-American and All-Big Eight Conference honors. At 6’2 and 230 pounds, John rushed for 1,131 yards and scored a then-school record 14 touchdowns. He finished his college career with 2,659 rushing yards, which broke Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers career school rushing record. While at Kansas, Riggins majored in journalism.

Riggins was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round (6th overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft. After only four years with the Jets, he became the fourth leading rusher in team history with 2,875 yards and earned a Pro Bowl selection in 1975/76.

Nicknamed “Riggo” and ‘The Diesel,” Riggins is best known for his days as a hard nose running back for the Washington Redskins, where he signed as a free agent in 1976. He was used mostly in short-yardage situations in his first season and missed much of the 1977 season with a knee injury. He eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in 1978 and 1979 and played a significant role in the team’s offense but sat out 1980 over a contract dispute.

In 1981, Riggins said "I'm bored, I'm broke, and I'm back" and returned to play for Washington. John played by his own rules, yet when on the field, he was no-nonsense. While he will always be remembered as one of the game’s most colorful personalities, teammates and Redskins fans remember him as one of the game’s all-time greatest running backs.”

His most memorable performance came in Super Bowl XVII, where he was named Most Valuable Player (Super Bowl MVP) after rushing for 166 yards, including a spectacular 4th quarter game-winning 43-yard touchdown run to clinch the Redskins’ 27-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. Riggins still holds the NFL record for 38 carries in a Super Bowl and remains the all-time leading rusher for the Redskins.

Riggins finished out his career with the Washington Redskins after the 1985 season with 11,352 career rushing yards and was the second player ever to rush for over 100 touchdowns in NFL history. Riggins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Washington Redskins Ring of Fame in 1990.

After retiring, John studied acting professionally in New York City during the early 1990’s. He enjoyed guest roles on shows such as Guiding Light, Law & Order, One Tree Hill, as well as numerous Off-Broadway stage appearances.

John also became one of the more popular radio on-air personalities including co-hosting positions on Sirius XM Radio, The John Riggins Show on ESPN 980 in Washington DC and color analyst for Westwood One’s Sunday Night Football. His fondest memory and experience came from fifteen (15) years working as a panelist on WRC – NBC’s Redskins Report with George Michael, Sonny Jergensen and Michael Wilbon.

Riggins just finished filming the second season for his outdoor show “Riggo on the Range,” which he hosted and aired on The Discovery Channel’s “Destination America.”

Today, the Pro Football Hall of Famer travels the country as a sought-after corporate speaker, corporate endorser and voice over talent. He is a partner in 44Outdoors, Inc. a full service video, audio and graphic production company headquartered in Winchester, Va.

John, his wife, Lisa Marie and their two (2) daughters currently live in Cabin John, Maryland.


Speech Topics

Do Your Job.

That is the essence of team work. Sometimes you can't count on the other guy, but you always want to make sure they can count on you. That's your reputation. That's you on the line every day.

Don’t Give Yourself Permission to Fail.

The most successful guys on a football field are those that have the highest threshold for pain. The most successful guys in the business world are those that have the highest tolerance for frustration.


is at the root of any human achievement because it breeds confidence. It is what helps you stay on course when you're trying to do your job and not giving yourself permission to fail.

Seize Your Moment.

I said to Joe Gibbs: "Give me the football. I'm ready to play. Don't take me out." It was my time, and I seized it.

Be A Leader

Have the courage to fail in order to ultimately find success in sports and/or business!

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