Dustin Colquitt struck 1,167 footballs with his left foot over his 15 years with the Kansas City Chiefs, donning his No. 2 jersey a franchise-record 238 times. He landed the third-most punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line of any player in NFL history - doing so an astounding 462 times - and his 50,393 career punting yards rank eighth all-time.
The former third-round pick, who Kansas City released on Tuesday, will forever be a Chiefs' legend for his historic efforts on the field, but remarkably, he'll be remembered most for his actions away from it.
Colquitt, a three-time nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, has selflessly dedicated his time as a professional athlete to those in need. He assumed a leadership role with various organizations such as Fuel Up to Play 60, Athletes in Action, KidsTLC and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes during his career in Kansas City – providing both dollars and hours in order to serve others – but Colquitt's most significant contributions undoubtedly came through his work with TeamSmile.
It all began with a phone call from Dr. Bill Busch, who had recently learned about a young child who passed away due to inadequate dental care on the news. Busch was eager to make a difference, and after contacting the Chiefs about a potential partnership, the front office said they had the perfect guy in mind. That man was the 23-year-old Colquitt, and more than a decade later, Colquitt and Busch have provided nearly 50,000 underserved children with more than $21 million in complimentary dental and preventative care.
Colquitt's "Punting for Smiles" campaign delivered thousands in funds to the organization, providing nearly $450 in dental care for every $50 raised, while Colquitt himself makes significant donations out of his own pocket every year. He even took an active role in recruiting other players from around the league to host TeamSmile events in their own markets, spreading the initiative to more than a dozen other cities.
And his efforts went beyond just the dental care itself, as Colquitt often sought to reward young individuals who took responsibility for their health. In fact, in each of the last two years, Colquitt awarded Super Bowl tickets to a young adult who demonstrated a positive and encouraging attitude throughout their dental treatment.
Those actions - coupled with his contributions at other team outreach endeavors such as hospital and school visits, for which he was a regular participant – are why Dustin Colquitt will forever mean so much to Kansas City. He is unquestionably one of the greatest players in franchise history and a Super Bowl champion, but Colquitt did so much more than win football games during his time in the red and gold.
He changed lives.
Photographs from the career of Dustin Colquitt.