“People have said, ‘Your parents must be proud of you,’ but I’m more proud of them,” he said.
Selmon played a key role in the creation of the football program at South Florida, where he was the associate athletic director starting in 1993 and served as the AD from May 2001 until he stepped down in February 2004 because of health concerns.
“I see myself as just having been a teammate with so many great players and coaches,” he told The Associated Press. “I’m floored by such a generous compliment.”
Lee Roy Selmon was born Oct. 20, 1954, in Eufaula, Okla., to Jessie and Lucious Selmon Sr. and raised on a farm with eight siblings. The three who’d go on to star for the Sooners could have ended up at Colorado, if not for a last-minute recruiting
Larry Lacewell described in the book “Wish Bone” that the Sooners didn’t decide to recruit Lucious Selmon until Barry Price switched his commitment from Oklahoma to Oklahoma State the day before signing day. Lacewell showed up at the Selmons’ house to find Colorado coach Eddie Crowder there. When he got his chance to talk to the family, he stayed at the house until the two younger brothers had fallen asleep and he had convinced the Selmon parents it was better for Lucious to play 100 miles away than 600.
It ended up being a key day for the program.
Oklahoma went 10-0-1 with all three Selmon brothers playing together in 1973, then won national title the next two seasons. Lee Roy Selmon won the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy in 1975. He ended his college career with 335 tackles, a school record for a linemen at the time, and 40 for a loss.
“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,” current Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “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.”
AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken in College Station, Texas, contributed to this report.
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