Wyoming’s Greatest Kicker Left The NFL To Serve In Vietnam
Jerry DePoyster is one of only two kickers from the University of Wyoming to play in the NFL. During the height of his professional career, he left the game to serve his country during the Vietnam War.
Originally recruited as a wide receiver, DePoyster was an All-American punter and kicker. In 1966, he became the first kicker to make three field goals over 50 yards in a single NCAA game. The record has since been matched but never broken. By the end of his senior season, he held six NCAA records.
DePoyster was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1968 and played in all 14 games as a rookie, averaging over 40 yards per punt and making three field goals.
Following the 1968 season, DePoyster joined the United States Army. When his tour of duty was up two years later, he rejoined the NFL, playing another two years with the Oakland Raiders.
DePoyster retired from football in 1972 to spend more time with his family. After living in Alaska for several years, he eventually settled in Rock Springs. In 2006, DePoyster was inducted into the Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame. He's now 71 and still resides in Rock Springs with his wife JoLynn.