Larry Csonka
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Larry Csonka
Key Topics:
  • Athletics
  • Sports
  • Change
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Bio Info:

    Larry Csonka started with teh Miami Dolphins in 1968. His nickname Zonk soon became an everyday word in America, and he led the Dolphins to three Super Bowl games.

    Csonka gained numerous honors playing for the Stow Bulldogs before going on to star as an All-American fullback at Syracuse University. He set numerous records with the Orangemen and was selected for the East-West Game, the Hula Bowl and the former All-Star NFL Game. He was selected MVP in each of those games. While at Syracuse, Csonka broke the rushing records of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little and Jim Nance.

    In 1968, Csonka was the Miami Dolphins' first round draft pick. Csonka and power running became synonymous in the NFL. He charged so tenaciously through defenses that his name became a household word and his nickname, Zonk, became a new American verb. From 1971-1973, he led the Dolphins to three Super Bowl appearances, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors along the way. He and halfback Jim Kiick were affectionately known as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and were mainstays in the Dolphins' perfect 17-0-0 season in 1972. Csonka earned the MVP award of the Dolphins' Super Bowl VIII victory over the Minnesota Vikings by rushing 33 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. In 1973, he was voted Super Athlete of the Year by the Professional Football Writers Association.


    After a contract dispute in 1974, Csonka, Kiick and teammate Paul Warfield signed with the World Football League. In 1976 Csonka returned to the NFL, this time signing with the New York Giants for three seasons from 1976-1978. He returned to the Dolphins in 1979 leading the team in rushing with 837 yards and was named MVP by Dolphins teammates. He ended his professional career in Miami and retired in January 1980. His career rushing record for the Dolphins of 6,736 yards still stands.

    Csonka's career rushing total of more than 8,000 yards places him among the Top 20 leading runners in NFL history. His importance to the game of football was exemplified when he was elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1987. His inclusion in that prestigious group came in only his second year of eligibility.

    Larry continues to work in the "public eye" as host and producer of two outdoor adventure programs. He currently hosts and produces "Stihl's North to Alaska" and "NAPA's Csonka Outdoors," which air on OLN (Outdoor Life Network) Saturdays at 12:30 EST. These programs showcase Larry's experience as a fisherman and hunter and his enthusiasm for outdoor sports and conservation.

    Csonka also travels the country visiting various clubs and corporations as a Sports Humor/Motivational Speaker, operating within his own company known as Csonka Promotions, Inc. His speeches are laced with humor and dramatic personal experiences, and have been well received by some of the nation's top companies.

    Csonka currently resides at his home in Oak Hill, Florida and maintains a farm in Lisbon, Ohio where he is constructing a sports complex which includes a USSSA sanctioned softball complex, driving range facility, probeach volleyball and basketball courts. His other hobbies include operating heavy machinery, fishing and hunting. 

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