Dec 7, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners helmets are lined up before the game against the Baylor Bears in the 2019 Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Former Oklahoma coach Blake dies at 59

Former Oklahoma coach John Blake died on Thursday, the university confirmed. He was 59.

Former Sooners quarterback Dean Blevins, the sports director for KWTV in Oklahoma City, reported that Blake suffered a heart attack while he was out for a walk. Blevins cited former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer as the source of that information.

Blake went 12-22 as Oklahoma’s coach from 1996-98. He never had a winning record, going 3-8 in his first season, 4-8 in 1997 and 5-6 in his final season before being fired.

When Blake became head coach at age 34, he was the first Black person to be head coach of any sport at Oklahoma.

“We are stunned and saddened by the news of Coach Blake’s passing,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement. “He was never hesitant in displaying love for his family, his players or how much he valued the honor of being a Sooner. His legacy as OU’s first Black head coach in any sport is incredibly meaningful and will live on forever. We offer our heartfelt thoughts and our prayers to his family. He was a Sooner through and through.”

Current Sooners coach Lincoln Riley also paid tribute to Blake.

“The thing I’ve always heard about Coach Blake is how much he loved and cared for his players and how those feelings were reciprocal,” Riley said in a statement. “That’s such a profound element of the coaching profession — developing bonds with players that extend beyond the field. Our program is very saddened to learn of Coach Blake’s passing and we extend our deepest condolences to his family. Everything I know about him is that he loved being a Sooner.”

Blake was replaced by Bob Stoops after the 1998 campaign, and Blake later received credit for his recruiting efforts, as the bulk of the school’s 2000 national championship squad joined the program during his tenure.

Blake was a nose guard at Oklahoma from 1979-82 and later became a coach. He was an assistant at Tulsa from 1987-88 before joining the Sooners’ staff, serving four seasons prior to leaving after the 1992 season to become defensive line coach of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys for three seasons. Switzer became the Dallas head coach after Blake’s first season.

The Cowboys won two Super Bowls during Blake’s three seasons before he accepted the Sooners’ head coaching job.

After being fired by Oklahoma, Blake later had college assistant stints at Mississippi State (2003), Nebraska (2004-06) and North Carolina (2007-10). He also was the defensive line coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2016.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Upcoming Games

Oct 29th, 7:30 PM

South Alabama +5.5 -110

Georgia Southern -5.5 -110

@

Oct 29th, 10:00 PM

Colorado State -1.5 -110

Fresno State +1.5 -110

@

Oct 30th, 7:00 PM

Marshall (19) -23.5 -110

Florida International (FIU) +23.5 -110

@

Oct 30th, 7:30 PM

Minnesota -20 -110

Maryland +20 -110

@

Oct 30th, 9:00 PM

East Carolina +17.5 -110

Tulsa -17.5 -110

@

Oct 30th, 9:45 PM

Hawaii -1.5 -110

Wyoming +1.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Georgia (5) -15 -110

Kentucky +15 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Kansas State (16) +3.5 -110

West Virginia -3.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Boston College +31 -110

Clemson (1) -31 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Iowa State (23) -28.5 -110

Kansas +28.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Michigan State +24.5 -110

Michigan (13) -24.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Purdue -7 -110

Illinois +7 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Wake Forest -11 -110

Syracuse +11 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

UTSA +5.5 -110

Florida Atlantic -5.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Memphis +7 -105

Cincinnati (7) -7 -105

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Temple +3.5 -110

Tulane -3.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 12:00 PM

Coastal Carolina (20) -2.5 -110

Georgia State +2.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 2:00 PM

North Texas -5.5 -110

UTEP +5.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 2:00 PM

UCF -2.5 -110

Houston +2.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:00 PM

Rice +1 -110

Southern Miss -1 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:00 PM

Troy +2.5 -110

Arkansas State -2.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:30 PM

LSU -3 -110

Auburn +3 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:30 PM

TCU -2.5 -110

Baylor +2.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:30 PM

Notre Dame (4) -20 -110

Georgia Tech +20 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:30 PM

Indiana (17) -11 -110

Rutgers +11 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:30 PM

Northwestern +2.5 -110

Iowa -2.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:30 PM

UAB -12 -110

LA Tech +12 -110

@

Oct 31st, 3:30 PM

Wisconsin (9) -3 -110

Nebraska +3 -110

@

Oct 31st, 4:00 PM

Ole Miss -17 -110

Vanderbilt +17 -110

@

Oct 31st, 4:00 PM

Texas +3.5 -110

Oklahoma State (6) -3.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 4:00 PM

Virginia Tech -3.5 -110

Louisville +3.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 4:00 PM

Appalachian State -32 -110

Louisiana-Monroe +32 -110

@

Oct 31st, 6:00 PM

Boise State (25) -14 -110

Air Force +14 -110

@

Oct 31st, 7:00 PM

Mississippi State +31 -110

Alabama (2) -31 -110

@

Oct 31st, 7:00 PM

Charlotte +9.5 -110

Duke -9.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 7:00 PM

New Mexico +13.5 -110

San Jose State -13.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 7:30 PM

Arkansas +12.5 -110

Texas A&M (8) -12.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 7:30 PM

Missouri +13.5 -110

Florida (10) -13.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 7:30 PM

Ohio State (3) -11.5 -110

Penn State (18) +11.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 7:30 PM

Navy +14 -110

SMU (22) -14 -110

@

Oct 31st, 8:00 PM

Oklahoma (24) -14.5 -110

Texas Tech +14.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 8:00 PM

North Carolina (15) -6.5 -110

Virginia +6.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 8:00 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette -16.5 -110

Texas State +16.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 9:30 PM

San Diego State -7.5 -110

Utah State +7.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 10:15 PM

WKU +28.5 -110

BYU (11) -28.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 10:30 PM

Nevada -14 -110

UNLV +14 -110

@

Nov 4th, 6:00 PM

Western Michigan

Akron

@

Nov 4th, 6:00 PM

Eastern Michigan

Kent State

@

Nov 4th, 7:00 PM

Ball State

Miami-OH

@

Nov 4th, 7:00 PM

Buffalo

NIU

@

Nov 4th, 7:00 PM

Ohio

Central Michigan

@

Nov 4th, 8:00 PM

Bowling Green

Toledo

@

Nov 5th, 12:00 PM

Utah State

Nevada

@

Nov 5th, 12:00 PM

Arkansas State

Louisiana-Lafayette

@

Nov 5th, 7:30 PM

SMU (22)

Temple

@

Nov 5th, 9:00 PM

Wyoming

Colorado State

@