by Scott Benson

A good bit of Patriots history left this mortal coil Tuesday when legendary scout and 64 year NFL veteran Bucko Kilroy passed away at his Foxborough home. He was 86 years old.

Kilroy worked for the Patriots for 36 years, and as personnel director during the 70’s, he was responsible for some of the most talented teams in the history of the franchise.

He led a scouting team that drafted Hall of Famers John Hannah and Michael Haynes, and an honor roll of New England legends like Julius Adams, Sam Cunningham, Darryl Stingley, Ray Hamilton, Steve Nelson, Russ Francis, Steve Grogan, Pete Brock, Tim Fox, Raymond Clayborn, Stanley Morgan and Mosi Tatupu.

Kilroy later served as GM (early 80’s), VP, and since 1994, as a consultant to the Patriots’ scouting department.

He had already enjoyed a full NFL life before he even joined the Pats. A six-time All-Pro as a player/coach with the Eagles, Kilroy went on to be an acclaimed ‘Super Scout’ with the Cowboys of the 1960’s. He is credited as a prime mover in the establishment of cooperative scouting services like BLESTO, and perhaps most importantly, the annual college scouting combine.

Too often these days, it seems as though the New England Patriots were born in 1993, not 1960. Too often, in the flood of distorted ‘laughingstock’ remembrances, it seems to slip our minds that there were once brilliant men like Kilroy and Chuck Fairbanks who plied their trade on Route One, to great effect.

We should not forget. The great Bucko Kilroy was here.