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Jack Mildren

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Jack Mildren

Jack Mildren
Date of birth October 10, 1949
Place of birth Kingsville, Texas, United States
Date of death May 22, 2008(2008-05-22) (aged 58)
Career information
Position(s) Quarterback
College Oklahoma
NFL draft 1972 / Round: 2/ Pick 46
Career history
As player
1972–1973 Baltimore Colts
1974 New England Patriots
Career stats
  • Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Larry Jack Mildren (October 10, 1949 – May 22, 2008), a native Texan, was an All-American quarterback at The University of Oklahoma in his college years, and professional football player with the Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots, an oil company owner, was elected as the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma, and enjoyed a career as a successful bank executive in Oklahoma.

College Football standout at OU

In football, Mildren is perhaps best known as the "Godfather of the Wishbone" going back to his quarterbacking days at the University of Oklahoma (1969–71). Introduced at OU in 1970 by Mildren's coach, Chuck Fairbanks, the success of "The Bone" depended on a quarterback with a rare combination of quickness, strength and intelligence. Posting a mediocre 6-4 record in Mildren's sophomore year and off to a lackluster 2-1 start in 1970, Fairbanks' Sooners installed the option offense during the two-week period between a 23-14 home loss to Oregon State and the annual Red River Rivalry clash against arch-rival Texas. Despite losing 41-9 to the Longhorns (who had run the wishbone to a national title the previous season), the Sooners quickly turned their season around, going 5-2-1 after the gutsy switch, and also ushered in a period of rushing dominance seldom seen before or since.

Mildren set records in his 1971 senior season that have since been exceeded. The Sooners posted an 11-1 record, with the wishbone averaging a remarkable 472.4 yards rushing per game. Mildren set records for most rushing yards in a season (1,140; 1971), most career touchdown passes (25), and season passing efficiency (209.0; 1971) record. That same season, OU fell just short of a national championship, losing 35-31 in Norman, Oklahoma to eventual champ Nebraska in what was billed as the Game of the Century. The defending national champion Cornhuskers gambled defensively by taking halfback Greg Pruitt out of the action and forcing Mildren to defeat them virtually on his own.

All-America Honors

Mildren was named both All-American quarterback and Academic All-American his senior season. He was also named the 1972 Sugar Bowl MVP after the Sooners' 40-22 victory over the Auburn, a game OU led 31-0 at halftime. Mildren's 1971 single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback of 1140 would be broken three seasons later by Freddie Solomon.[1]

Pro Football years

After his collegiate days, Mildren joined the ranks of the pros for three seasons, playing defensive back for the Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots.

Political career

In 1990, Mildren was elected the 22nd Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma. In 1994, Mildren was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Oklahoma, losing to Republican Frank Keating by approximately 17% of the popular vote (in a three-way race; narrowly coming in second place against independent gubernatorial candidate Wes Watkins, a former Democrat Congressman who later become a GOP Congressman). Although Mildren was at first the frontrunner in the Governor's race, 1994 was a strong year for the Republican party while President Bill Clinton was controversial nationally and unpopular in Oklahoma. The Republican congressional landslide of 1994 included the historic takeover of both houses of the U.S. Congress.

Career in Banking

Mildren served as the Vice-Chairman for the Arvest Bank Group, and as an announcer for Jox 930 WKY - Oklahoma's oldest radio station - which is an all-sports radio station in Oklahoma City. He was also a regular contributor on WWLS The Sports Animal, having a regular segment with Al and Jim (The Total Dominance Hour).

Personal life

Mildren had three children; Leigh Woody (married to Russell Woody), Lauren Buchanan (married to Brad Buchanan) and Andrew Mildren (married to Caroline Mildren). His lineage now includes grandsons: Jacob Mildren Woody, Christopher Russell Woody, Jack Culver Mildren and Lucas Taylor Buchanan; and he had two granddaughters Elizabeth Grace Mildren and Olivia Claire Mildren. He is survived as well by his wife Janis.

Death

Mildren died of stomach cancer on May 22, 2008.[2]

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ OU great Mildren dies at 58 | NewsOK.com
Preceded by
Oklahoma Sooners Starting Quarterbacks
1969–1971
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert S. Kerr III
Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma
1991-1995
Succeeded by
Mary Fallin
Party political offices
Preceded by
David Walters
Democratic nominee for Governor of Oklahoma
1994
Succeeded by
Laura Boyd
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