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Football linebacker, Kevin Greene, was born on July 31, 1962 in Schenectady, New York. is a former played in the NFL for 15 years and who retired after the 1999 NFL season.
Greene played college football as a walk-on at Auburn University, and in 1984 won the Zeke Smith Award as Defensive Player of the Year. He had 69 career tackles as an outside linebacker and 11 sacks his senior year where he led the Southeastern Conference. He was selected by the Birmingham Stallions in the 1985 United States Football League Territorial Draft and later selected by the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League in the fifth round (113th overall) of the NFL Draft the same year. He earned a degree in Criminal Justice at Auburn. He completed ROTC while at Auburn and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the California Army National Guard and during the off season, he graduated from the RC-1-86 Armor Officer Basic Course, Fort Knox, KY.
Kevin Greene played for the Rams from 1985 through 1992. In 1988 Greene led Rams with 16-1/2 sacks which was 2nd in the NFL behind Reggie White. That total included 4-1/2 sacks against the San Francisco 49ers' Joe Montana in a key late-season game that the Rams had to win order to make the playoffs which they did.
The following year Greene made the NEA All-Pro team in 1989 as well as The Sporting News (TSN) All-Pro Team and the Pro Bowl in 1989 with his second consecutuve season of 16-1/2 sacks (4th in the NFL). His 13 sacks (tied for 6th in the NFL) in 1990 gave him 46 sacks for that three-year period, the most of any player.
In 1993 Kevin Greene went to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where had had another solid season with 12-1/2 sacks which tied him for 7th in the league leadership of that stat. Greene was consensus All-Pro in 1994 by the Associated Press (AP), the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), TSN while leading the NFL in sacks and where he made another appearance in the Pro Bowl. In 1995 he went to his third Pro Bowl and also played in Super Bowl XXX, a loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Greene signed with the Carolina Panthers following their 1995 inaugural season and helped them reach the NFC Championship Game where the team lost to the eventual Super Bowl XXXI champion Green Bay Packers. In 1996 he was named the NFC Linebacker of the Year and received the NEA Defensive Player of the Year Award. In addition the NFL Alumni voted Greene the NFL Linebacker of the Year Award. He was also voted the NFC Player of the Year by the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club. Additionally, he set an NFL record with 5 consecutive multi-sack games and finished leading the NFL in sacks for the second time in three years with 14-1/2. Along the way he was a consensus All-Pro in 1996 for the second time in three years (AP, PFWA, NEA, TSN). He was selected to his fourth pro bowl. Said by Panther teammate Dwight Stone to be, along with Sam Mills, the most "professional guy" on the 1996 Panther team.
After one season with the Panthers and a dispute over his wrestling career with that organization, he played one season for the San Francisco 49ers before returning to the Panthers for his final two years. In 1998 he was repeated his honor of being named NFC Linebacker of the year by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). Greene was named to the Pro Bowl after the 1998 season bringing his Pro Bowl total to five. Greene was tied for third in the NFL for sacks, after Michael Sinclair (16.5 sacks), Reggie White (16 sacks), and tied with Michael Strahan who each totaled 15 sacks.
Kevin Greene retired after the 1999 season where he had 12 sacks (7th in the NFL) as a 4-3 outside linebacker and as a five-time Pro Bowler and the NFL's third all-time sack leader with 160, behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White. He also leads all NFL linebackers in career sacks ahead of players like Lawrence Taylor, Derrick Thomas, Rickey Jackson, and Andre Tippett. Greene is one of only 4 players to lead the NFL in sacks in multiple seasons ('94 with the Steelers and '96 with the Panthers). Greene is also tied for second in career safeties with three. He also ranked third all time in fumble recoveries with 26, which he returned for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. He described his aggressive style of going after fumbles as "a hog going after a sweet potato in the mud". He also recorded 5 interceptions, returning them for 53 yards and a touchdown. He is one of three players to record 10 sacks a year for 10+ years. He averaged over 10 sacks a year for 15 seasons.
Greene played in 228 games in his 15-year career. Ten times he was among the NFL's Top 10 sackers, leading the NFL twice. Eleven times in his 15 years he led his club in sacks. Played in six conference championships in his 15 seasons.
Greene also had a couple of short stints in World Championship Wrestling. He debuted in WCW as a tag team partner for fellow NFL alum Steve McMichael, but McMichael turned on him in favor of joining the Four Horsemen. Greene disappeared from WCW for several months before returning to get revenge on McMichael in a singles match, where he defeated McMichael when the latter's ally (Jeff Jarrett) accidentally nailed McMichael with a briefcase.
Greene eventually left wrestling altogether when NFL teams began requiring a "no wrestling" clause in his contract.