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Remembering Danny Villanueva

college football player- a professional athlete — and a self made multimillionare. daniel villanueva died on thursday. villanueva launced his athletic career as a kicker for new mexico state university in the late 50’s he went on to become what some people are calling a true legend. abc-7’sjerry najera is live with his story … bob estela looking into villanueva’s past i found story after story of his accomplishments. not only did he become a new mexico state university hall-of-famer and played for the nfl- he is also considered a spanish-language television pioneer. “32 yard field goal attempt b danny villanueva..and it is good the kick is good” this is only one of danny villanueva’s proud moments in football history. the special teams player who was often called “el kickador” w born in tucumcari, new mexico. villanueva graduated from new mexico state in 1960. he was a part of the aggies squad that went undefeated in 1959 and 1960. after a short stint of student teaching at las cruces high school. he was called by the los angeles rams for try outs. villanueva became one of the nfl’s first latino kickers. he tells nfl producers in a interview he found others fascination with him being latino was odd at times. “i came o the field and they played bullfight music which i thought was kind of silly” he played for the rams from 1960 to 1966 when he was then traded to the dallas cowboys. the straight-styled kicker launched the winning field goal against washington in 1966 that helped put the cowboys in their first playoffs. villanueva retired after the 1967 nfl championship game famously known as the “the ice bowl” “after beat the green bay packers at the icebowl in green bay, they beat us in my mind that was it.” afte retirement villanueva found a new career in sports broadcasting. in the 70’s he became part owner of the spanish international network which later became univision a station many latinos are familiar with now. villanueva became a self made millionaire and used his money wisely. nmsu officials say he donated millions of dollars over his lifetime. nmsu president garrey carruthers said in a statement: “new mexico state football and the entire athletics department lost a true lifetime. nmsu president garrey carruthers said in a statement: “ne mexico state football and the entire athletics statement: “new mexico stat football and the entire athletics department lost a true legend… his passing makes today a very sad one for all of aggienation” villanueva was 77, he leaves behind a wife and two children. in 1991 he also established the danny villanueva scholarship endowment to recognize nm state students who excel in leadership and community involvement.

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