The Sooners won three Big Eight titles in six seasons under Fairbanks, who was selected The Sporting News college football coach of the year in 1971 when OU finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and played the original "Game of the Century" against Nebraska, a 35-31 loss in Norman.
Fairbanks compiled a record of 52-15-1 (.772) with the Sooners and his teams featured 1969 Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens, Jack Mildren and freshman Joe Washington. When Fairbanks left to coach the Patriots, he was replaced by OU offensive coordinator Barry Switzer.
After coaching, Fairbanks entered real estate and golf course development businesses with ventures in California and Arizona.
Fairbanks has residences in Northern Michigan and also in Scottsdale, Ariz. He and wife, Puddy, have three sons (Chuck, Tyler and Toby) and two daughters (Gwenn and Malissa).