At 5’11” and 225-pounds, Mack Lee Hill was a powerful fullback when he came to the Chiefs as a free agent out of Southern University in 1964. He was the Chiefs second-leading rusher in his rookie season, carrying the ball 105 times for 567 yards and four touchdowns. Hill’s success earned him a spot on the 1965 AFL All-Star Western Division team. Hill had six carries for 20 yards in the game played at Houston’s Jeppesen Stadium.
Mack Lee Hill overcame the dreaded “sophomore slump,” by gaining 627 yards in the first 13 games of the 1965 season. He was forced to end his season one game early, however, after he ruptured a ligament in his right knee in a game against the Buffalo Bills.
Hill underwent knee surgery a few days after his injury, but after going into convulsions post-surgery, Hill died on the operating table. He was just 25 years old.
Inspired by their young runner, the Kansas City Chiefs created the Mack Lee Hill Award, which is given each season to the team’s most outstanding rookie.