He was known as simply Double-O, but the totality of Kenny Burrough’s life and career added up to far more.
The former Texas Southern football and track & field star, who went onto NFL fame, became the standard around the Fifth Ward campus. Burrough passed away on Feb. 24. He was 73.
Burrough leaves a legacy behind that won’t soon be forgotten. He excelled at both football and track during his time as a TSU student-athlete from 1967-1969. Burrough who played for former TSU football and track & field coach Clifford Paul, still remains one of the school’s best receivers with 138 catches for 1,912 yards and 19 touchdowns.
He was a big part of the Tigers’ 1968 SWAC Co-Championship team. And when he wasn’t playing football, Burrough was a standout sprinter and a key member of several record-setting relay teams.
“The Texas Southern University Department of Athletics extends our condolences to the family of Kenny Burrough,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Kevin Granger. “Kenny has been a huge ambassador for TSU football and the university as a whole both on-and-off the field for nearly five decades. The TSU community will miss him dearly.”
Following his stellar TSU career, Burrough transitioned to NFL fame after being drafted in the first round of the 1970 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. Burrough spent just one season in New Orleans before coming back to Houston, where he provided many spectacular moments for the Oilers from 1971-1981.
Burrough, the last man to wear a 00 jersey in the NFL, led the league in receiving in 1975 with a career-high 1,063 yards and went to become a two-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection. By the time his 11-year Oilers career was done, Burrough had led the team in receiving for seven seasons, compiled 6,906 receiving yards and scored 47 touchdowns while helping the Luv Ya Blue Oilers the AFC Championship round twice.
“Kenny provided the aerial threat and the big plays for Bum Phillips’ Oilers teams, leading the league in receiving one season and earning two Pro Bowls over his 11 seasons in Houston,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement from the team. “At the time of his retirement, he was the franchise leader in career receiving yards and he still ranks third currently. I will fondly remember his distinctive double zero jersey racing down the field on another long touchdown.”
After retiring from 12-years in the NFL, the Jacksonville, Fla. native remained in Houston and became a fixture around the city and TSU campus. He served as a coach and radio commentator. Burrough later worked for the TSU athletic department as the Community Relations Director in 2007 and his voice was known for his color commentary work on KTSU 90.9 FM during Tigers’ football games.
Burrough was selected to the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2016. He was also inducted into the TSU Hall of Fame in 1996 and the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1997.