David Lee (punter)
|Date of birth||November 8, 1943|
|Place of birth||Shreveport, Louisiana, USA|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||230 lb (100 kg)|
|High school||Minden High|
|AFL draft||1965 / Round: 17 / Pick: 137|
|Drafted by||Boston Patriots|
|Career highlights and awards|
David Allen Lee (born November 8, 1943) is a former American football punter for the former Baltimore Colts in the National Football League and subsequently retired from a career as a General Motors executive in Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish, in northwestern Louisiana. He accumulated several sports records in punting for the Colts in a 12-year career from 1966 until 1978.
The family home at the intersection of Goodwill and Ash streets is near a residence where the Country music singer David Houston lived as a child. It is also in the same block as the residence of the late Mayor Jack Batton. It is a short walk from the Minden High School stadium, then a new structure, where Lee made his first successful mark in football between 1957 and 1960. Not only was Lee All-District and All-State in football in his senior year, the fall of 1960, but he excelled similarly in basketball (1961), baseball (1959–1961), and track (1958–1961). He was also elected by his peers to the Student Council during his senior year.
Upon his 1961 graduation from Minden High School, Lee enrolled on a football scholarship at Louisiana Tech, then Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, in Ruston in Lincoln Parish. Similarly successful in college football, the tall, ectomorphic Lee excelled in punting.
After graduation from Tech in 1965, Lee joined the Cleveland Browns. They signed the papers in Ruston at the home of the parents of football star Bert Jones. He was transferred after a year to the Colts. As a rookie, Lee won the National Football League punting title.
In 1969, the Colts lost Super Bowl III to the New York Jets, but Lee again won the NFL punting title. In 1971, the year in which the Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys to win Super Bowl V, Lee uncorked a 76-yard punt, the longest in Colts history.
In 1973, Lee's friend, the Colts' quarterback Johnny Unitas, went to the San Diego Chargers after concluding his Baltimore career as the NFL's all-time leader in passing yardage. Six years after Lee retired from the Colts, the team relocated to Indianapolis.
During his sports career, Lee was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and often gave motivational lectures to young people attempting to develop their athletic abilities.
Lee Briefly dated United Airlines flight attendant Mary Lustig in the early 60s. They met in Denver. Later, the two broke up.
Lee is married to the former Sandra Harper (born 1945), his high school cheerleader and sweetheart. She is the daughter of the late George R. Harper and the former Doris Booth (1923–2011). After the death of George Harper, Mrs. Harper married Eulus E. Wright (1913–2000); she was a past treasurer of the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and the Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary in Minden.
The Lees reside in Bossier City, east of Shreveport. The Lees have a son and a daughter. Jared Harper Lee (born 1971) resides in Frisco, Texas, with his wife, Heather A. Lee (born 1974). Whitney Lee Nolan (born ca. 1966), a school administrator, resides in Jasper, Georgia, with her husband, Roger R. Nolan (born ca. 1960), a teacher and coach.
Lee has a younger brother, Danny Roy Lee (born 1953), of Minden, who played high school and college football. Danny Lee was named in 1972 as the state's second-leading collegiate punter while he attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Lee has a sister, Denece Lee Thibodeaux (born 1955), married to Charles E. Thibodeaux (born 1951), of Houston. A second sister, Mildred Diane Lee Doss (1942–1982), was the wife of Harold Wayne Doss.
Lee was among several outstanding football figures from his hometown of Minden during the 1960s:
- Charlie T. Hennigan (born 1935), originally from Bienville Parish, graduated from Minden High School in 1953 and played for Northwestern State University in Natchitoches prior to joining the newly created Houston Oilers in 1960.
- The somewhat diminutive Fred Haynes (1946–2006), a 1964 Minden High School graduate, became a champion college player at LSU, where he was affectionately known as the "Littlest Tiger".
- Larry Brewer (born 1948), a 1966 graduate of Minden High School, went on to play for Louisiana Tech as a teammate of Terry Bradshaw. He joined the Atlanta Falcons after college graduation but was unable to meet the commitment because of an injury. Brewer became a certified public accountant and worked in hospital management until he drowned in 2003 while on a family vacation in Hawaii.
- Billy Joe Booth (1940–1972) played professional football for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League. He was a cousin of Mrs. David Lee.
- "1965 AFL Draft". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- "Louisiana Tech Announces Hall of Fame Induction Class: List includes Minden's David Lee", Minden Press-Herald, August 31, 2011
- Doris Harper Wright obituary, Minden Press-Herald, December 1, 2011
- Minden Press-Herald, January 5, 1972
- Billy Joe Booth obituary. Shreveport Times, July 2, 1972