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Courier-Journal writer Jason Frakes is reporting that Rick Norton, a Flaget High School and University of Kentucky quarterback, died Thursday in Louisville. He was 69. Read Frakes’ story here.

Norton played from 1963-65 at UK, and was named to two first-team All-American teams.

He was drafted by both the NFL and the AFL, and played for the Miami Dolphins in their inaugural season. He played four seasons for the Dolphins, starting 11 games.

He is survived by a son, Rick Jr., and two daughters, Stacey and Cindy. Funeral arrangements are pending.

16 Responses to Former UK All-American quarterback Rick Norton dies

  • TrueBlueJohn says:

    Sad to hear that news. Rick Norton in his time was as big a recruit as Tim Couch was in the late 90′s, or as Drew Barker today. He played on Charlie Bradshaw’s best teams in the mid 60′s. He would have to rate in the top 5 qb’s ever to play at UK.

  • Anonymous says:

    TrueBlueJohn . . . you are so right. Sad day.

  • Larry Pup says:

    Indeed a great one, both at old Flaget High in Louisville and at UK. I was saddened to hear this news.

    • larryvaught says:

      I saw Norton, Bird, Kestner, Ball and more playing at Stoll Field. Great memories, great quarterbck

  • Stephen says:

    When I was 9, my Dad took me to Stoll Field (my very first live game) to catch the Cats’ game against a very powerful Ole Miss team. What a game I got to see! Rick Norton played quarterback AND the defensive secondary to lead the Cats to a 27-21 (I think that was the score) upset of the Rebels! A couple of weeks later, I seem to remember him leading the Cats to a shutout upset of Auburn. I still have the ticket he autographed, and the newspaper articles of the games. I have been a Wildcat fan ever since!

    Thanks for the memories Rick, you died WAY to young! I’m sure my Dad is up there in Big Blue Heaven right now, welcoming you home. R.I.P.

  • TrueBlueJohn says:

    I was in college that season. The Ole Miss game was one of the great upsets in UK history, then followed up by beating Auburn who was also in the top five. That would have been a great season if the injury bug hadn’t bitten. Norton to Kestner was one of the best passing combinations of all time.

  • RJ says:

    When I read the news just now, I felt another part of my childhood slip away. Rick was a true “great one”. And, to everthing I am aware of, lived is life honorably. He will be missed.

  • HughW says:

    I knew several of the players who played during that period of time, including Rick. Nice guy, excellent player. I heard he was having health problems, but had not seen him in years. True Blue John was on the money when he said Rick was as big a recruit at that time as Tim Couch was in the 90′s. That team was great go watch – Norton, Bird, Kestner, Ball, Sieple, et. al. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

  • FloridaCat says:

    I saw Rick play his first pro game which happened to be the Dolphins first game ever in a pre season game against Oakland in the Orange Bowl. He was thrown to the lions much like Couch was years later. Bird happened to be on Oakland’s team. Rick kept his composure, remained classy as ever. His legacy is secure as one of UK’s ALL Time Greats

  • Anonymous says:

    Help! I’m getting old and while my clock hasn’t completely run down, memories are not quite as clear as they use to be. I was at the Auburn game with my wife to be and we had made a day of it by hitting Keenland, dinner and the Ky./Auburn football game. Here’s what I’m trying to remember…I think it was right before half time that Bird either took a pitch out, punt or interception in our end zone back for a touchdown. I was standing no more than ten yards from him when he took off. Do you Stephen, HughW or anyone remember the details? It was a truly electrifying run. One of my favorite foodball memories. Thanks Rick Norton and may God bless you.

  • coldspringmike says:

    A good friend of mine was in the UK band during Rick’s time at Kentucky and I would come down to all the home games with his parents. What a player, what a team. I remember some heart breakers back in those days but also some great victories. Roger Bird was one tough son of a gun.

  • Karen Raho says:

    I grew up in Florida, my Dad was from Kentucky and Rick Norton was my first Kentucky
    hero. I would listen to WHAS on my radio along with Daddy. I was only 15 and a girl,but I did love the CATS.

    • larryvaught says:

      Karen I have the same type memory. Cried when he got hurt and knew it cost UK a bowl chance

  • Love SEC F-Ball says:

    Some great memories from a great player.
    Back in the days of Radio.
    Way too young to leave us.

  • ukscat says:

    Karen – - purchased my first house in Coral Springs ( west of Pompano ) in 75′.
    Would set in the driveway on Saturday night and listen to WHAS – while tossing beer cans out the car window. Obviously my new neighbors questioned this activity. My wife would address the neighbors quieries by saying ” he’s from Kentucky” – -she’s still so supportive !!

  • Anonymous says:

    Rick Norton was great at Flaget and great at UK. Sorry his career at Miami didn’t develop as it should have. Prayers for Rick and the family.

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