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Bobby Jack, two-sport star for Sooners, dies at 63

by Erik Horne Published: May 29, 2014
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Bobby Jack was a two-sport star for OU in basketball and baseball. Photo courtesy of University of Oklahoma Athletics.
Bobby Jack was a two-sport star for OU in basketball and baseball. Photo courtesy of University of Oklahoma Athletics.

Bobby Jack, a two-sport star for Oklahoma in the early 1970s, died Friday at the age of 63, as announced by the university.

Current OU head men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger, who played basketball at Kansas State, has firsthand knowledge of Jack’s strengths on and off the court.

“I played against Bobby in both baseball and basketball and he was an outstanding competitor,” said Kruger. “More importantly, he was a terrific person and a prideful Sooner. He will be greatly missed.”

Jack earned All-Big Eight honors in basketball and baseball. In basketball, Jack led the Sooners in scoring his final two seasons with averages of 17.3 points per game as a junior and 16.5 as a senior. OU’s appearances in the NIT during Jack’s sophomore and junior years were the first postseason games for the Sooners since 1947.

Jack, a 1968 Ponca City graduate, finished third all-time in scoring for the Sooners. He was drafted by the ABA’s Miami Floridians.

In baseball, Jack was a three-time All-Conference selection as an infielder and earned All-America honors as a senior, helping OU to the 1972 College World Series. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the MLB Draft that same year, and had a brief professional career.

“Bobby Jack was arguably the greatest two-sport star in OU history,” said Joe Simpson, Jack’s baseball teammate at OU, former Major Leaguer and longtime television and radio announcer for the Atlanta Braves. “Great leader. Great roommate. Great teammate. Great friend. He was one of the best right-handed hitters I ever saw.”

Jack is survived by his son, J. Aaron Jack, and daughter, Adrianne Louise Jack, who both returned to the Oklahoma City area last summer to be closer to their father. Aaron Jack was a high school basketball star at Jenks and went on to play collegiately at Penn State and Texas A&M. Other surviving family members include daughter-in-law Allison Leia-Cash Jack and grandsons Bowman Isaiah Jack and Robert Lincoln Jack.

A memorial service for Jack will be held June 2 at 2 p.m. at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City (222 NW 15th St.). Attire for the service will be “Sooner formal.” (OU sport coats, sweaters, ties, suits, golf shirts or anything including crimson and cream are welcome and encouraged.)

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Bobby Jack Tribute Fund at the Alzheimer’s Association (http://act.alz.org/goto/bobbyjack).


by Erik Horne
Online Sports Editor
Erik Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013, following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The Ardmoreite, Horne reported on everything from prep...
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