A tribute to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed sports in life.
*Darryl Emmert became an oilman after playing on the offensive line for Oklahoma over the 1969-71 football seasons. Emmert wore jersey No. 73 while helping the Sooners compile a 24-9-1 record under coach Chuck Fairbanks. Emmert was a senior when OU finished 11-1 and defeated Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. Before playing at OU, he was an all-district guard at Tulsa Hale High School. The Houston resident died June 7 at age 61.
*Dave Simmons, who founded and coached the Tulsa Eagles girls fastpitch softball program, died at age 68. An insurance agent by trade, he once watched his 8-year-old daughter's team lose a game 30-0. Although Simmons knew little about coaching softball, he offered assistance to the frustrated head coach. Simmons taught himself the intricacies of the game, which morphed into the Eagles, one of the most recognized girls summer programs in the state. Several players from the Tulsa Eagles program have earned college softball scholarships. Simmons, a Calera native who played college basketball at Southeastern State in Durant, was inducted into the Oklahoma Amateur Softball Hall of Fame in 2010.
*OTHER: Oklahomans with sports backgrounds who died recently: Les Reed Sr., 64, a junior high basketball coach in Sand Springs. ... Verl Pharis, 79, former marching band director at Tulsa Union High School. ... Ralph Vindiver Sr., 100, a Pauls Valley native who played football and basketball at Lindsay High School. ... W.T. Jeffers, 86, a Sand Springs resident who was a scatback for the University of Richmond football team. ... Bobby Campbell, 77, a native Texan who ran track and cross country at Tulsa Rogers High School. ... Donald Pitts, 84, captained the Jenks High School basketball team before joining the Army Air Corps at age 17 to fight for his country in World War II. ... Abe Shuckakosee, 70, a four-sport star (football, basketball, baseball and track) at Perkins High.