zook john
John Zook

  • In high school, Zook was a first-team all-state selection for the Larned Indians in 1964.
  • All-American defensive end for the 1968 Orange Bowl team at KU
  • Played 11 seasons in the NFL
Zook, John
Inducted 2007

Born September 24, 1947 – Garden City, Kansas.

Graduated Larned H.S., 1965; University of Kansas, 1969.


John Eldon Zook was one of the greatest football players who ever played for the University of Kansas and played 11 seasons in the National Football League.

College Career

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound native of Larned was an All-American defensive end for the 1968 Orange Bowl team that also was co-champions in the Big Eight Conference. Zook was a two-time All-Big Eight performer for the Jayhawks and helped KU to a 9-2 record and No. 6 overall ranking during the 1968 season. He finished his career with 202 tackles in three varsity seasons. Kansas head coach Pepper Rodgers said of Zook, “He never played but full speed from snap one to snap 100. He was the most full-speed player on every snap that you could imagine.” Following his senior season, Zook played in both the Coaches All-American Game and the Senior Bowl. He is one of 15 players honored on the University of Kansas Ring of Honor in KU’s Memorial Stadium

NFL Career

He was a fourth-round selection by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1969 National Football League Draft, but never played for the Rams. He played seven seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl Team in 1973. Zook played four seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals before retiring in 1979.


Click here to see John's Kansas Sports Hall of Fame induction speech