Richard Scott Proehl was born in the Bronx, New York and was a gifted athlete at an early age. As a senior at Hillsborough High School in Hillsborough, New Jersey, Ricky was recognized as a New York All- Metro selection, the Somerset County Player of the Year, and All-State pick, after he caught 42 passes for 900 yards and 13 touchdowns that season.
Wake Forest recruited Proehl in 1986 where he played as a true freshman lettering all four years. Ricky holds the school’s records for receiving yards (2,949 yards), touchdowns (25) and also ranks in the top five in the school’s history for receptions and receiving average. He concluded his collegiate career playing in the Blue-Gray Football Classic and the East-West All-Star Game.
It was an exciting day for Ricky in 1990 when the Arizona Cardinals drafted him in the 3rd round. He was the 58th pick overall in the NFL draft. As a rookie with the Cardinals, he set the rookie record for receptions as well as becoming the first rookie to lead the team in receptions since Bob Shaw in 1950. Ricky spent four more seasons with the Cardinals and then played with the Seattle Seahawks and the Chicago Bears before Dick Vermeil signed him in 1998 with the St. Louis Rams. Those were some exciting years as Ricky became a part of one of the greatest NFL teams.
In 1999, people recognized the Rams offense as the “Greatest Show on Turf.” And it was that same year during the NFC championship game that Ricky caught a Kurt Warner pass in the end zone with only 4:44 seconds left on the clock. That touchdown won the game with a score of 11-6 and the Rams headed to Super Bowl XXXIV.
In an exciting game against the Tennessee Titans, the Rams went on to win the Super Bowl as they held the Titans from entering the end zone with just seconds on the clock. Proehl would play in three more Super Bowl’s catching two tying touchdown passes late in the fourth quarter in Championship games XXXVI and XXXVIII. Both of those games were lost when Patriot’s kicker Adam Vinatieri kicked the game winning field goal with just seconds on the game clock.
Proehl joined the Carolina Panthers in 2003 where he had three memorable seasons with the Charlotte-based team. He finished his 17 year career in the NFL as a Super Bowl Champion with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006.
After retiring from the NFL, Ricky has translated the skills he learned on the football field to create Proehlific Park and the P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation in Greensboro, North Carolina,” I’ve always had a passion for helping kids,” Proehl said. “I have an opportunity to give back to kids within the community and I feel blessed to be able to do that.” He mentors kids in the Greensboro community on a daily basis, striving to make a positive impact in their lives.
Proehl and his wife Kelly have three children; one daughter, Alex and two sons, Austin and Blake.
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