George Cumby was a two-time All-America linebacker for Oklahoma. He remains third on the Sooners' all-time tackles chart with 437 over the 1977-79 seasons. The Green Bay Packers had two No. 1 picks in the 1980 NFL Draft; they first chose Penn State defensive end Bruce Clark and then Cumby. He started 66 of 92 games while playing six seasons with the Packers, one season with the Buffalo Bills and one year with the Philadelphia Eagles.
At age 55 — and 24 years since he last suited up for an NFL team a— Cumby has coached at the high school and junior college levels in his native Texas. Last Saturday, Cumby was in Bethany with the Texas College football team. He is the Steers' head coach and in the first phase of a major rebuilding project. The NAIA school in Tyler fell to 0-8 after a 49-7 whipping from No. 21-ranked Southern Nazarene.
* Cumby said he has not attended an OU game in a couple of years. Although Saturday's game in Bethany ended a couple of hours before the Sooners' scheduled kickoff vs. Texas Tech on Owen Field, he helped load two charter buses for a trip home.
“I didn't think that one out,” Cumby said of making plans to watch OU play the Red Raiders in Norman. “That would've been nice to have some tickets to let these kids on my team watch the Sooners play.”
* Still, the Texas College entourage saw a sampling of the Sooner Nation's command post on Friday. Cumby and the team stopped in Norman and visited the Barry Switzer Center.
“We took a tour, and Coach Switzer came by and spoke to us. He talked to the kids about me when I played there. Then Coach Stoops, after they got off the practice field, he came over and shook the hand of every kid on my team. He talked to the kids — it was a good personal touch from him. Joe Washington came in right before we left and talked to some of the kids. It was just a really good experience for them.”
* Cumby said players often ask about his days as a Sooner or Packer.
“They've seen my pictures on the wall when I played, and they like to talk about that. You just live your life through them, let them see the type of person you are and what you stand for and what you expect. You treat them like young men, you respect them. In return, they'll do their best for you.”