Tahlequah Daily Press

OU Sports

May 30, 2014

Former OU great Bobby Jack dead at 63

Former Oklahoma basketball and baseball star Bobby Jack passed away last week at the age of 63 from complications from cardiovascular disease.

A standout for OU in both sports in the early 1970s, Jack earned All-Big Eight honors in both sports and played an instrumental role in helping both programs to postseason appearances after lengthy droughts.

In basketball, Jack blossomed his junior and senior seasons on offense. He was the team’s leading scorer his final two years, averaging 17.3 points per game as a junior and 16.5 as a senior for head coach John MacLeod.

OU’s NIT appearances his sophomore and junior years in 1970 and 1971 were the program’s first postseason showings since 1947.

Jack earned all-conference honors in his final season on the hardwood and finished his career as OU’s third-leading all-time scorer. He now ranks 25th in school history in scoring despite playing just three seasons. He finished his career with averages of 15.0 points and 5.8 rebounds a contest.

Current OU head men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger played against Jack when was at Kansas Sate.

“I played against Bobby in both baseball and basketball and he was an outstanding competitor,” Kruger said in a statement. “More importantly, he was a terrific person and a prideful Sooner. He will be greatly missed.”

PJack was a three-time all-conference pick as an infielder (1970-72) and earned All-America honors as a senior when he helped the Sooners to the 1972 College World Series.

He went on to be drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 1972 Major League Draft (59th overall selection) and rose to the level of Triple-A in the Braves’ minor league system before deciding to enter the business world.

“Bobby Jack was arguably the greatest two-sport star in OU history,” former OU teammate Joe Simpson and longtime television and radio announcer for the Atlanta Braves said in a statement. “Great leader. Great roommate. Great teammate. Great friend. This is my 40th year in professional baseball and he was one of the best right-handed hitters I ever saw.

“I saw him get knocked to the ground on two consecutive pitches at Missouri and then hit the third pitch 450 feet for a home run. He was amazing, inspiring and a hell of a lot of fun. This is a tremendous loss for OU fans and those who played with him.”

Jack, a native of Ponca City, is survived by his son, J. Aaron Jack, and daughter, Adrianne Louise Jack, who both returned to the Oklahoma City area last summer to be closer to their father. Aaron Jack was a high school basketball star at Jenks High School and went on to play collegiately at Penn State and Texas A&M. Other surviving family members include daughter-in-law Allison Leia-Cash Jack and grandsons Bowman Isaiah Jack and Robert Lincoln Jack.

A memorial service will be held for Jack at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. Attire for the service will be “Sooner formal.” OU sport coats, sweaters, ties, suits, golf shirts or anything including crimson and cream are welcome and encouraged.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Bobby Jack Tribute Fund at the Alzheimer’s Association.

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