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Former Sooner Defensive End 'Jimbo' Elrod Dies In Car Accident

OU Athletics
James "Jimbo" Elrod stands over an opponet.


Former University of Oklahoma All-American football player James “Jimbo” Elrod, 62, died in a single car crash on the Turner Turnpike approximately 4 miles west of Chandler, Oklahoma early Monday morning.

The Highway Patrol responded to the call at 3:43 a.m. The car had rolled end over end several times, causing Elrod to be ejected. He was not wearing a seatbelt. Elrod’s wife, Diana, was wearing her seatbelt and was transported to the OU Medical Center in critical condition.


According to the Highway Patrol, the 2015 Lexus departed the roadway, tried to re-enter and struck the backside of a guardrail.The vehicle came to rest in a ravine.


Elrod, a standout defensive end, helped head coach Barry Switzer go to his first bowl game with the 1975 Sooners. Switzer says he called Elrod’s teammates Monday.

"Jimbo has always been an 18-year-old guy to me because that's what he was when I signed him. He always had movie-star looks and a lot of hair. I was always jealous of his hair. Everybody was,” Switzer said in a statement from OU Athletics. “We lost a great one. It's devastating."

Elrod was part of the 1974 and 1975 national championship teams. Later, he was named to the All-American Team and was a two-time All-Big Eight honoree. He also lettered as a wrestler in 1973 and 1974. He went on to play three years with the Kansas City Chiefs and one year with the Houston Oilers.


“This is a very sad day for the OU Football family. Jimbo was an All-American player and person, a great friend of our program who loved his Sooners,” OU Head Football Coach Bob Stoops said. “He was a true joy to be around and we will miss him dearly.”

The cause of the collision is under investigation. A report from the Highway Patrol says officers detected an odor of alcohol.

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