John Carney

Student-Athlete
Inducted 2007

A kicker in the NFL for 20 seasons, John Carney has 413 field goals, 1,749 points, and several franchise records to his credit.

Carney was a three-sport athlete at Cardinal Newman High School, earning letters in track & field, football and soccer, and became the football team’s first soccer-style kicker. In his junior and senior years, he averaged more than 40 yards as a punter and kicked 49-yard and 47-yard field goals. Carney was a first-team All-State selection in 1982 and helped the Crusaders to a regional championship.

A preferred walk-on at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1983, he was put on full scholarship after one semester. Carney finished as the Irish’s all-time field goal leader, completing 51 of 69 attempts for a .739 accuracy percentage and a second-place ranking on the scoring chart with 223 points. His game-winning 19-yard field goal at USC on the final kick of his college career capped Notre Dame’s 38-37 comeback victory in 1986.

After signing as a free agent with Cincinnati in 1987, Carney spent the bulk of his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers. Over his 11 seasons with the Chargers, he became the team’s all-time points leader and was a 1994 Pro Bowl selection. Carney moved to the New Orleans Saints in 2001 and has ranked among their top offensive weapons each year, reaching his 400th career field goal in 2006. He is third on the NFL’s all-time list for field goals made and fourth on the all-time scoring list.

Carney’s charitable foundation, KickStart for Kids, has raised more than $1 million since 1992 for children with physical deformities to have plastic surgery. He also held a holiday shoe shopping event for underprivileged youth in New Orleans in 2004 called “John Carney’s Holiday Kicks for Kids,” and worked with Catholic Charities on a Superdome sock drive benefiting the homeless.

Carney is a three-time NFL Man of the Year and was voted “Good Guy” by the Sporting News in 2003. He is a member of the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame. Carney lives in California with his family.


 

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