Mike Garrett, 69, is in his second year as athletic director at Langston University. Garrett wants to make the historically black school a sports powerhouse, which is right up his alley. The Los Angeles native grew up a winner. He was a two-time All-America running back at the University of Southern California, winning the 1965 Heisman Trophy. As a pro, with the Kansas City Chiefs, he played in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV, earning a championship ring for the latter after a victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Garrett ran for 5,481 yards and 35 touchdowns during a seven-year career, which included a stop with the San Diego Chargers. He later earned a law degree and then spent 1993-2010 as USC's athletic director. Garrett lives in Edmond with his wife Suzanne. They have two adult children, Sara and Daniel, and 8-year-old twin boys, Michael and John. The two-time Pro Bowler took a timeout recently to answer a few questions for The Oklahoman.
Q: Where do you keep your Heisman?
A: “At my house, on the piano. I had it on the mantel at my mom's house, and after she passed away, we moved it to my house and put on the mantel there. When we were getting ready to move here, we got into a big discussion whether we leave it in Pasadena or bring it with us. My wife was the one who said we were bringing it with us.”
Who gets your Heisman vote so far?
“To be honest with you, I haven't been keeping up with it that closely. Of course, you have to think of the kid (Johnny Manziel) at A&M. But I haven't paid much more attention than that.”
Have you been invited to participate in the Heisman House commercials?
“No. I'm probably too old. It's a different generation.”
If you could have your old Kansas City coach, Hank Stram, over for dinner, what would you serve?
“Steak. Some kind of pasta. A hearty salad. Hank was a hearty eater, too. I always loved to be around him because I didn't have to talk. He was quite a talker. Hank was one of my favorite people.”
How many concussions do you think you suffered during your playing days?
“I was just talking to my wife about that. I suffered about two, three. One game, I remember playing at Mile High Stadium in Denver. I landed on my head, and my left side — I couldn't stop my left arm and shoulder from wiggling. The team doctor told me to lay down or sit on the bench for a little bit, but I told him that I needed to get back in the game. I didn't want them (Broncos) to think they knocked me out of the game. I went back in and told (quarterback Len) Dawson that I'm not worth a hill of beans right now and just move me in motion. When we landed in Kansas City later on, they put me in observation for overnight.”
Any side effects now?
“With all this stuff coming out about concussions, it really surprised me, made me realize how much damage has been done. But so far so good with me.”
What do you do on football Sundays? Do you watch the NFL?
“That's the day I can be with my two boys, and we can go outside and play catch. My oldest son and I pick one of the younger kids, and we play football in our cul-de-sac.”
Who is the most famous person on your cellphone?
“My wife. She's the most famous to me.”