OU football: Two-time national champion quarterback Steve Davis dies in plane crash

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm •  Published: March 18, 2013

Steve Davis, who in three years as the University of Oklahoma quarterback had more national championships than defeats, died Sunday in a private plane crash in South Bend, Ind.

According to reports out of Indiana and Tulsa, where the plane originated, the plane experienced mechanical trouble and crashed Sunday afternoon.

The Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet had left Tulsa's Jones Riverside Airport and crashed near South Bend Regional Airport, said FAA spokesman Roland Herwig said. Three houses were struck in the crash, officials said.

Four people were on board when the plane crashed and there were two confirmed deaths, Herwig said.

Davis, a 1971 graduate of Sallisaw High School, won the OU quarterback job in 1973, when heir apparent Kerry Jackson was ruled ineligible, and Davis ran the wishbone offense for Barry Switzer's first three seasons as head coach.

OU went 32-1-1 those three seasons, winning national titles in 1974 and 1975. Davis, a Baptist preacher who also was a huge Willie Nelson fan, became a cult hero and public speaker in much demand.

[Related: Steve Davis and the Billy Graham Crusade]

“I felt like I was on the university plane more than the president,” Davis told The Oklahoman a few years ago.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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