By Sandra Birungi
Steve Davis who won national championships in 1974 and 1975 died on Sunday in a plane crash aged 60.
As a young child, David dreamed of nothing else but playing for Oklahoma but ended up as a head coach for Barry Switzer for the first three seasons. Davis compiled a remarkable 32-1-1 record in three years as the Sooners’ starter. The Sooners went 11-0 in 1974, then won the national title again the following year after going 11-1.
Davis grew up in Sallisaw in the eastern part of the state and developed a love for the Sooners. “It was a shot into the huddle, and there was Bobby Warmack, who was my idol. He had that eye-black, and the double chin strap and the towel out of the front of his pants,” Davis told the paper. “I took that picture, and I took a big, black magic marker and wrote ‘WHEN?’” Davis was quoted talking about how he hid a picture from a Oklahoma football brochure in his top dresser drawer.
The day Davis made his first start in the 1973 season opener, he said, his mother took the picture and wrote on it: “TONIGHT.”
Oklahoma beat Baylor in the opener, then tied powerhouse Southern Cal — with Lynn Swann and Pat Haden — in the second game.
After that, Davis and the Sooners ran off 28 straight victories.
“I will never get away from the fact that I was a Oklahoma quarterback. I will never get away from the fact that I only lost one game,” Davis said in the 2008 book “The Die-Hard Fan’s Guide to Sooner Football.” ”All of those things are a part of my legacy and my history. I am very thankful for what happened. I don’t know that I would trade my career for any other quarterback that has ever played at OU.”
Davis worked as a television sports commentator after his career was over, including game day telecasts for Sooners games last season. During his college career, he spoke at a Billy Graham event.
Aboard the plane were other passengers. Davis’ parents, Jim and Patsy Davis of Sallisaw described their son 58-year-old Wes Caves of Tulsa, who also died in the crash, as a friend of Davis but they did not know the other two passengers who survived. “We extend our sympathies to Steve’s family and others whose lives he touched,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “He was a great champion and someone who set a wonderful example for others. We will miss him very much.”