Former OU QB Jack Mitchell had profound impact

Berry Tramel Published: July 7, 2009
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Jack Mitchell’s personality made him a winner as Bud Wilkinson’s first Oklahoma quarterback and as a football coach who recruited Barry Switzer to the University of Arkansas.

"Jack was a great personality,” said Claude Arnold, a backup to Mitchell in 1948 who later quarterbacked OU to the 1950 national championship. "He had everybody in the palm of his hand.”

Mitchell died Monday in Sun City, Ariz., at the age of 85. Few men have had a more profound impact on Sooner football.

Mitchell was dubbed "General Jack” and "seemed to move the team by the force of his personality,” wrote OU historian Harold Keith in 47 Straight.

Mitchell was a successful head coach, going 13-5-1 overall at Wichita State (1953-54), 17-12-1 at Arkansas (1955-57) and 42-44-5 at Kansas (1958-66), where he recruited two of the Jayhawks’ greatest players, John Hadl and Gale Sayers.

While at Arkansas, Mitchell signed Switzer out of Crossett, Ark. Switzer played for Mitchell as a sophomore in 1957, before Mitchell went to KU.