John Blake, a Sand Springs standout who played football at Oklahoma and later became the program’s 20th head coach, died Thursday morning. He was 59.
“I recruited him out of Sand Springs,” the legendary OU head coach said. “He played for me and captained for me. He coached for me.
Blake was hired by OU at 34 on Dec. 31, 1995, and coached three seasons. He was the school’s first Black head coach in any sport. Many of the players he recruited at OU won a national championship in the 2000 season under Bob Stoops.
According to Oklahoma City News9 sports director Dean Blevins, who broke the news, Blake had a heart attack while on a walk.
“I wasn’t aware that he had that type of physical condition,” Switzer said. “He had an implant. He had a weak heart. I got the report from his sister and brother-in-law a while ago. I wasn’t aware of all that. It made it more shocking because it wasn’t expected.