The Norman Transcript

Headlines

April 3, 2013

Farewell to Fairbanks, former OU football coach

NORMAN — Oklahoma officials confirmed that former Sooner football coach Chuck Fairbanks, 79, died Tuesday morning after a battle with brain cancer.

“Coach fought a hard battle. He was a great coach and like a second father to me,” former OU running back and 1969 Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens said Tuesday. “He taught me so much on the field, but he prepared me for life after football, which I always appreciated. He was tough on us but fair. I couldn’t have had a better coach.”

Fairbanks had a distinguished coaching career in both the college and professional ranks. His most successful stint was as head coach at OU from 1967-72.

During his six seasons, the Sooners won three Big Eight Conference titles (1967, 1968 and 1972) while compiling a 52-15-1 overall record and a 33-6 mark in the conference.

Fairbanks originally came to OU as a defensive assistant under head coach Jim Mackenzie prior to the 1965 season. Mackenzie died prior to the 1967 season and Fairbanks was elevated to head coach.

“From the moment he took the job, there was no question he was head coach. He was so organized and so professional. He took that team and made us Big Eight champions,” Owens said. “I think we were picked to finish fourth or fifth and we won the championship and had a chance to win the national championship that year. The thing about Coach was he was a hard coach. He pushed us hard, but he was so fair.”

Fairbanks’ lasting legacy at OU was the installation of the wishbone offense during the 1970 season under then-offensive coordinator Barry Switzer. The offense helped fuel the Sooners’ dominance throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

His last two teams at OU went a combined 22-2 and were some of the best in the program’s history. The Sooners only loss in 1971 was to top-ranked Nebraska in the “Game of the Century” at Owen Field. Both the 1971 and 1972 teams finished No. 2 in the final rankings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symposium speaker Paul Polik: Commerce can help and bring millions out of poverty

    How to harness the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges in sustainable ways was the topic of discussion at the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s fourth annual Social ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Amber waves turn gray as farms lose younger generation

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his son, Kelsey, 25, announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando....

    April 18, 2014

  • Postal retiree luncheon set

    A postal retiree luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. Monday at Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, 123 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Diners will meet in the lobby. For more information, call Joyce Carle at 872-5157....

    April 18, 2014

  • Flapjack fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will partner with the Global Outreach Team at Go Church to host a Flapjack Fundraiser on April 26. Proceeds raised will be used by team members to purchase ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU Hornsemble goes to the movies

    The OU Hornsemble will present a concert of music from the cinema at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Billed as “Movie-Time Music,” the ensemble will present a wide variety of cinematic music from the 1940s to the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions....

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

    JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Woman bound over for trial

    A Slaughterville woman facing a manslaughter charge after the death of an 8-year-old child was bound over for trial this week after a preliminary hearing in Cleveland County District Court. Kimberly Dawn Wenthold, 29, was charged in ...

    April 18, 2014