OU Community Mourns Loss Of Former Quarterback Steve Davis In Plane Crash

Monday, March 18th 2013, 8:20 pm
By: News 9

The University of Oklahoma and fans across the country are mourning the loss of a legend.

Former OU Quarterback Steve Davis, the man who helped the team to back to back titles in the 70's, was killed in the crash of small jet.

3/18/2013 Related Story: Former OU Quarterback Steve Davis Dies In Indiana Plane Crash

The plane took off from Tulsa and crashed in South Bend, Indiana.

Steve Davis made history on OU's campus when he was starting quarterback from 1972 to 1976, and even though it's been nearly 40 years since he was on the field behind me, his name still has an impact.

It's definitely a loss for football fans everywhere. Steve Davis won back to back national titles in the 1970's. He led the Sooners to a 1974 and 1975 championship as its quarterback.

It was only until this past season that his record for career wins by a starting quarterback was broken by Landry Jones.

"Thirty years is a long time to hold any record in any sport, especially the way the caliber of the athletes are changing from year to year," former student Kolby Pace said.

"Steve Davis was a hero to a lot of people down here," said OU professor, Ford Smith.

Davis was one of two people killed late Sunday afternoon in a plane crash in Indiana. The pilot reported an electrical problem right before crashing into three homes in South Bend.

"It's always tough especially for a community like Norman that's built so much around OU football," Pace said.

Now, a strong OU community is mourning the tragic loss of a football legend.

"I remember the stories about him, and I remember the records and everybody seemed to know who he was," Smith said.

According to reports, the pilot tried to land the plane at Indiana's South Bend Regional Airport, but was unsuccessful.

Former OU head coach Barry Switzer released this statement,

"This is a tragic loss. Steve was a tremendous role model for student-athletes everywhere. He was a good student and a fantastic person. He was a minister who traveled across the country inspiring thousands with his message, his words and his lifestyle."

Switzer also tweeted Davis was his first quarterback.

Coach Bob Stoops sent out a message expressing his thoughts on Steve Davis,

"On behalf of the Oklahoma Football family, we share the sorrow of Sooners everywhere who are mourning the loss of Steve Davis and extend our prayers to Steve's family and many friends," said Stoops. "Steve gracefully carried the hopes and dreams of an entire state on his shoulders as he quarterbacked the University of Oklahoma to back-to-back national championships. While his record of accomplishment on the field will long be remembered, I will always appreciate the personal support and encouragement that Steve provided to me and our student-athletes. He was a man of exceptional character who will be deeply missed."

News 9 Sports Director Dean Blevins released the following statement:

"Steve was a roommate, mentor, teammate and business partner. He maximized his talent with toughness and an indefatigable work ethic. Steve was a winner and a kind soul. RIP."

The small jet left from Jones Riverside Airport in Tulsa. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The other person killed in the accident was Oklahoma businessman Wes Caves. The two survivors, Jim Rodgers and Christopher Evans, remain in the hospital.

At last check, Rodgers was in serious condition and Evans was in fair condition.

A woman on the ground was also injured.