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Tulsa Great Glenn Dobbs Leaves Legacy

Known as the greatest football player in school history, Dobbs has been recognized with numerous awards during and after his collegiate and professional career.
Known as the greatest football player in school history, Dobbs has been recognized with numerous awards during and after his collegiate and professional career.
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Nov. 13, 2002

Tulsa, Okla. - University of Tulsa football legend Glenn Dobbs died Tuesday night, November 12, at his home in Tulsa. A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 18, at 10:00 a.m., at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on The University of Tulsa campus.

Known as the greatest football player in school history, Dobbs has been recognized with numerous awards during and after his collegiate and professional career.

Dobbs played at Tulsa from 1940-42. He was a consensus All-American as a triple threat tailback and safety, Heisman Trophy contender, Rookie of the Year and All-Pro selection in two professional leagues. Dobbs was elected to the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame in 1980, and in 1982 was an inductee into The University of Tulsa's inaugural class of the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. On October 21, 2000, Glenn Dobbs Drive was unveiled on the TU campus as Eighth Street between Harvard and Florence Avenues was renamed after the legendary player and coach. On June 5, 2001, the All-American Football Foundation honored Dobbs with its Pioneer All-America Award.

Dobbs earned his All-America merits in 1942 after leading the Golden Hurricane to a 10-1 record and final national ranking of fourth in the Associated Press poll. Dobbs led Tulsa to appearances in the 1941 Sun Bowl and 1942 Sugar Bowl. A three-time Missouri Valley Conference performer, Dobbs led the Hurricane to an overall 25-6 record during that time span.

In 1942, Dobbs completed 63-percent of his passes for 1,066 yards and led the nation in punting with a 48.3 yard average. As a team, the Hurricane led the country in passing offense with an average of 233.9 yards per game. To this day, Dobbs still has four of the top-five longest punts in school history -- 87, 79, 78 and 77 yards. During his playing days, he led Tulsa in passing, pass efficiency and punting in 1941 and 1942, and was the team leader in interceptions in 1942. His No. 45 is one of seven retired jersey numbers.

After starring in both the American and Canadian Football Leagues, Dobbs returned to the University of Tulsa in 1955 as athletics director. He was the Golden Hurricane head football coach from 1961-68. Dobbs led Tulsa to Bluebonnet Bowl games in 1964 and 1965. His teams led the nation for five consecutive seasons in passing, 1962-66.

"Coach" as he was most endearingly referred to, continued his involvement with the TU athletic department through the years in the areas of fundraising and support.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of "Coach" Dobbs. He has been such an integral figure in Tulsa athletics from the early 1940s to present day," said TU's Director of Athletics Judy MacLeod. "As a player, he set standards difficult to duplicate; as a coach, he was instrumental in developing a passing offense that today's game is patterned after; as athletic director he oversaw the expansion of Skelly Stadium to over 40,000 seats; and, as a person, he was one of the best. He was a perfect gentleman who loved this university and community dearly. He will be deeply missed by the TU community."

At Saturday's Tulsa-San Jose State football game, the Hurricane team will remember Glenn Dobbs with "45" on their helmets. A moment of silence will honor "Coach" Dobbs prior to the game.

He was born on July 12, 1920 in McKinney, Texas. He played his prep football in Frederick, Oklahoma.

Tin lieu of flowers memorials may be made to: Glenn Dobbs Athletic Fund at The University of Tulsa, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, The University of Tulsa, 600 South College Ave., Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104-3189.