The Oklahoma Sooners are in mourning following the loss of James “Jimbo” Elrod.
Elrod played for the Sooners from 1973-1975 and was a member of their back-to-back National Championship winning teams during that span. Elrod, 62, was pronounced dead on the scene following a car accident and a passenger, his wife, is in the hospital in critical condition.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported the incident was a single car collision around 3:43 AM; Elrod ran off the road and through a guardrail while driving eastbound on the I-44.
The exact cause of the wreck remains under investigation, but the officer that responded to the scene reported a smell of alcohol.
There has been an outpouring from those who knew Elrod or watched him play. Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer expressed some sentiments and memories when commenting on the tragedy:
“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. I called a lot of Jimbo’s former coaches and teammates this morning. We lost a great one. It’s devastating.”
Elrod was a member of both the football team and the wrestling team while at Oklahoma. He played four season in the NFL; three with the Kansas City Chiefs and one with the Houston Oilers.