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March 19, 2013

Steve Davis among dead in Ind. plane crash

NORMAN — Former Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis was among two victims in a plane crash Sunday in South Bend, Ind. St. Joseph County (Ind.) Coroner Randy Magdalinski confirmed Monday.

Two persons survived the crash and are hospitalized. A woman on the ground was injured. The second victim has not been identified.

The Oklahoma football family mourned the death of one its most highly respected members.

Davis, 60, was best known as the Sooners’ quarterback from 1973-75. During that span OU went 32-1-1 and claimed back-to-back national championships in 1974 and 1975. His 32 wins were a program record until it was surpassed this past season by Landry Jones.

Davis, who was born in Sallisaw and was an All-State quarterback at Sallisaw High School his senior year, wasn’t a highly touted recruit when he arrived in Norman in the fall of 1971.

His former coach, Barry Switzer, and teammates remembered Davis as the epitome of overachievement who was able to live out his dream.

“Back then I think we had 250 kids on the roster, and I believe Steve started out about eighth on the depth chart,” Switzer said in a statement. “Of course, we all know that he went on to post a 32-1-1 record and help us win two national championships. Steve was surrounded by great talent on those teams, but he was truly an exceptional leader. I was proud of him. The entire state of Oklahoma was proud of him. We still are.”

Davis ran the wishbone offense like a scientist with a flair for the dramatic.

“He was exceptionally bright and had a tremendous amount of football savvy,” teammate Steve Calonkey said.

OU teams in his era were some of the most talented in the program’s history. Between 1974-76 OU had 24 players selected in the NFL draft and produced 14 different players who were named first-team All-Americans during that span.

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