Tragedy struck the Oklahoma football family late Sunday afternoon when former quarterback Steve Davis, 60, was killed in a private plane crash near the South Bend, Ind., airport.
According to news reports, the small jet plane attempted to land twice before clipping one house and crashing into two others. Davis, along with his friend Wesley Caves, 58, were killed in the crash, while two other passengers, along with a woman in one of the homes, were injured but expected to survive.
Davis hit the national stage in the mid-70s, leading the Sooners to two national titles (1974 and 1975 seasons), while compiling a 32-1-1 record running the wishbone over three Oklahoma seasons. Davis was named Orange Bowl MVP in 1976.
He was also a man of strong faith, giving his testimony at the nationally televised Billy Graham Crusade in Lubbock, Texas, on Sept. 4, 1975.
During his testimony, he talked about receiving Christ as his Savior at a relatively young age. “At the age of 10, the best I knew how, that’s exactly what I did,” Davis said. “The key is to ask Jesus Christ into your life and He promises He’ll come in and stay there.”
Here’s the video clip from the 1975 Crusade:
Another point Davis emphasized in Lubbock was the importance of a father’s relationship with Christ.
“My dad was not a Christian for the first 16 years of my life,” Davis said. “And if there’s a dad here tonight, as one who knows, Dad, you’re the biggest disappointment and heartbreak that your children have if you’ve never experienced a life in Christ.
“And it made a difference to me when my dad became a Christian when I was 16.”
Both Davis and Caves were certified pilots, according to news reports, and according to family members, Davis loved to fly and was always looking for an excuse to go up in a plane. The jet — a newer model Hawker Beechcraft 390 — belonged to Caves.
Davis, an ordained Baptist minister, was a television commentator after his playing days, and stayed connected with college football as a mentor for some of the Oklahoma quarterbacks.
Condolences were sent out via Twitter as news of Davis’ death started to circulate.
@Barry_Switzer: I’m saddened by the loss of Steve Davis. Great role model for young people on & off the field. He was my 1st QB & had an outstanding career.
@JacknGraham: Praying for Steves fam. Have known him 30 yrs
@RealSkipBayless: RIP Steve Davis. Great college football player. Better man. God bless him for all he did.