Oklahoma Head Coach Barry Switzer and the Selmon Brothers, Lee Roy and Dewey at the Orange Bowl in 1976 Photo Credit:Bettmann/CORBIS
College Football and the NFL lost a great one yesterday with the passing of Hall of Fame Star Lee Roy Selmon. Lee Roy is considered by some to be the best player to ever wear a Sooner uniform. He definitely is a player who left one of the longest running impressions of any Sooner in history.
Selmon suffered a stroke on Friday and passed early Sunday morning. He was 56. Selmon was a two-time All-American for the Sooners and the 1975 Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy winner. He was drafted No. one by the Tampa Bay Bucs and was a six time consecutive Pro Bowl Selection. He played in the NFL for 9 years.
His former Sooner Coach, Barry Switzer spoke on his passing:
The Sooner family is saddened by the loss of one it’s greatest champions both on and off the field, Lee Roy Selmon. No Sooner player cast a longer shadow over its rich tradition than Lee Roy. He was the winner of both the Outland and Lombardi Award, a two-time consensus 1st Team All-American with a record of 43-2-1, two consecutive national championships, and the #1 draft pick in 1976. In addition to his accomplishments in football, Lee Roy was an honor student and is in the NCAA Academic Hall of Fame exemplifying what every student athlete should aspire to be. Beyond his many and great accomplishments, I believe the true legacy of Lee Roy Selmon lies within the kind of man he was. Lee Roy possessed a combination of grace, humility, and dignity that is rare. His engaging smile and gentleness left you feeling blessed to be in his presence. Best of all, he was all genuine. One would be blessed to have a father, son, uncle, brother, or friend like Lee Roy Selmon.”
Current Coach Bob Stoops:
There was a sense of awe every time you were in Lee Roy’s presence, and yet that was the last thing he would have wanted. He accomplished so many things in life, but remained a humble, unassuming champion. I hold up many of our previous greats as examples for our current players and Lee Roy is among the very best. All of our players would do well to follow in Lee Roy’s footsteps.
It was a Selmon family tradition for their sons to attend and play football at the University of Oklahoma. One difference about this family was that they were all good. Damn good. Lee Roy followed his brothers, Lucious and Dewey to OU in 1972 and later was the main piece on one of the best defenses to ever play on a field. His former coach, Switzer has said the Lee Roy was the best player he has ever coached.
His brothers Lucious and Dewey also were All-American defensive linemen for Oklahoma, and played on the same defensive line together in 1973. The trio is still regarded as the most famous set of brothers in OU history.
My grandmother, a HUGE Texas Longhorn fan, used to hate the Selmon Brothers. And unhappily refers to it as the “Selmon Brothers Years”. Why? Texas couldn’t get past those boys.
Selmon’s impressive career achievements:
- 6× Pro Bowl selection (1979, 1980, 1981,1982, 1983, 1984)
- 3× First-team All-Pro selection (1979, 1980,1982)
- 2× Second-team All-Pro selection (1978, 1984)
- 6× First-team All-NFC selection (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984)
- 1× Second-team All-NFC selection (1983)
- NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
- 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
- 1982 Co-Pro Bowl MVP
- 1979 NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year
- 1975 Outland Trophy
- 1975 Lombardi Award
- 1975 UPI Lineman of the Year
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers #63 retired
After his football career, Selmon decided to stay in the Tampa area and became the atheltic director for South Florida. Selmon launched the football program, was in charge of the construction of a new athletic facility and led the university’s move into Conference USA and currently into the Big East Conference. Selmon resigned as the USF Athletic Director in 2004. He took on the roll as president of the USF Foundation Partnership for Athletics, an athletics fund-raising organization.
Many got to experience what a great person Lee Roy Selmon was, and his impact on this world will live on. He will forever be in the memories of Sooners, Bucs and Bulls fans.
RIP Lee Roy. And a forever Boomer.