Reggie was the Buffalo Bills’ first round selection in the 1972 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan. He became an immediate starter at left guard and never missed a starting assignment over the next eight seasons, setting the Bills’ record for consecutive starts at 134. In 1973 McKenzie and his offensive line mates were dubbed “The Electric Company” that helped turn on ”the Juice” as running back O.J. Simpson set the NFL rushing record with 2003 yards in 14 games. McKenzie was named first team All-NFL in both 1973 and 1974 and was named the top NFL blocking lineman by the Pro Football Writers Association in 1973.
A team leader both on and off the field during his time in Buffalo, he served as the Bills’ player representative from 1973-77. During his tenure in Buffalo he was active in community projects including the Special Olympics and United Way. In recognition of his long and meritorious service to the Bills organization, McKenzie received the Ralph C. Wilson Distinguished Service Award in 1999.
Reggie moved on to the Seattle Seahawks, as a free agent, in 1982 for the last two years of his 13-year career. After retiring from the NFL in 1985, he stayed on in the Seattle front office for eight years as Director of Player Relations. He left the Seahawks in 1994 and returned to Michigan where he established Reggie McKenzie Industrial Materials, an industrial products company based in Livonia, Michigan. He is also the founder of the Reggie McKenzie Foundation, an organization that helps Detroit youth with athletics and academics.
A native of Highland Park, Michigan, Reggie went on to star in football at the University of Michigan. He was a two-time All-Big 10 selection and the team captain of the Wolverines as a senior. He was a member of the 1970 and 1972 Michigan Rose Bowl teams and was selected to several All-America teams as a guard, finishing his collegiate career by playing in the prestigious Senior Bowl All-Star game.
In recognition of his outstanding playing career, McKenzie was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.