JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Bill Kenney has a long list of accomplishments in his lifetime, whether it be as a business owner, athlete, or politician.
Soon, he will be adding one more achievement to the list: his induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Kenney famously quarterbacked for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1980 to 1988, leading the franchise to the playoffs in 1986. The team finished 10-6 on the season, but failed to win in the postseason. He was named the team’s MVP and was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1983, with 603 passing attempts, the most ever by a Chiefs QB in a single season.
The former QB can boast of a number of records with the franchise, as his name still appears 26 times in the Chiefs’ all-time quarterback statistical rankings.
He ranks third career-wise in passing yards (17,277), games started (77), passes attempted (2,430), passes completed (1,330) and touchdown passes (105). He also ranks in the top three in single-season passes completed (346) and passing yards (4,348), which remained the record until Trent Green broke it in 2004.
But Kenney’s career after football endeared him to the Show Me State as well. After hanging up his cleats in 1989, Kenney went on to serve as a Missouri State Senator in the mid-1990s and early-2000s. He served as the majority floor leader after being elected to the position in 2001, becoming the first Republican to hold this office in over 50 years. He left the Senate in 2002 due to term limits.
After a stint as Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s Chief of Staff, Kenney was appointed to the Missouri Public Service Commission by Governor Jay Nixon in 2013, where he continues to serve as a commissioner.
Kenney has also been successful in the business realm, becoming a licensed real estate broker after the end of his NFL career. He now owns real estate development, brokerage, and construction companies.
Kenney is joined on the 2017 list of inductees by a number of standout figures in Missouri sports, including former St. Louis Cardinals speedster Vince Coleman, Royals outfielder Amos Otis, and the Voice of the Missouri Tigers, Mike Kelly.
The enshrinement celebrations are set for Sunday, January 29. The activities begin with a reception at 11 a.m. at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. A second reception is at 4 p.m. at the University Plaza Convention Center in Springfield, with the dinner and enshrinement ceremonies to follow at 5 p.m.
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.