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Former OU QB Jack Mitchell had profound impact

Berry Tramel Published: July 7, 2009
uot;I liked Jack,” Switzer said. "He could get a team ready to play. Very animated.”

Mitchell grew up in Arkansas City, Kan., but went to the University of Texas. He entered the military during World War II, and when Mitchell returned to Ark City after the war, new OU coach Jim Tatum talked Mitchell into coming to Norman for the historic 1946 spring practice that included so many war veterans.

Mitchell took control of the team, became a master optioneer under Wilkinson after Tatum’s departure and in 1948 OU’s first All-America quarterback.

"Jack was an exceptional runner,” Arnold said. "Really tricky. He was great for the split-T. We didn’t throw the ball hardly at all. But his personality was just dynamite.”

Mitchell’s career punt return average of 23.6 yards is the NCAA record.