Jack Mildren

Jack Mildren – Godfather of the Wishbone Offense

Jack Mildren was an exceptional high school prospect. He led Abilene Cooper High School into the Texas state championship game against Austin Reagan High School and college recruiters began flocking to Abilene Cooper.

Mildren was defeated on a contentious quarterback sneak play that most believed he crossed the goalline, ultimately losing. Mildren passed away Thursday from stomach cancer at age 58.

Early Life and Education

Jack Mildren passed away at age 58 due to stomach cancer. A native Texan, Mildren is widely recognized as the creator of Oklahoma wishbone offense and set many passing records at Abilene Cooper High School before earning All-American status at OU. Professionally he played for both Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots while owning an oil company and serving as Oklahoma’s 13th lieutenant governor.

Mildren had a stellar junior season for Oklahoma after starting slowly his sophomore year at OU. With 813 carries totalling 5,196 yards that season, Oklahoma amassed 11,1 yards on 813 attempts for an 11-1 finish including an overtime win against Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.

Mildren gained national acclaim with his wishbone offense and charismatic leadership style, capable of running, passing and kicking the football.

Professional Career

He served as Oklahoma’s 13th lieutenant governor from 1990-1994 and ran as a Democratic candidate for governor that year but lost to Republican Frank Keating and independent candidate Wes Watkins.

Mildren was widely credited with pioneering OU’s wishbone offense in 1970, which proved extremely effective due to relying on a quarterback with the perfect mix of quickness, strength and intelligence as its driving force.

Mildren was an outstanding passer at OU, setting several school records including career passing yardage. Drafted by Baltimore Colts in the second round of 1972 NFL draft and played three seasons, Mildren later established himself as an accomplished bank executive in Oklahoma City while hosting daily sports radio shows.

Achievement and Honors

Jack Mildren earned All-American status at the University of Oklahoma during both 1969 and 1970, being selected as an All-American quarterback both years. Following an inauspicious start during his junior year, Chuck Fairbanks switched up their wishbone attack, leading the Sooners to an 11-1 season and 472.4 rushing yards per game under Jack’s direction.

Jack had sprinter’s speed, strength, and intelligence – traits which earned his teammates’ respect from an early point in his career. Schools such as Notre Dame and Alabama offered scholarships; however, Jack preferred staying home to play for his brother and hometown team the Cooper Cougars instead.

His final high school game in Texas ended with a heartbreaking loss against Austin Reagan on a controversial play that is still debated today. That season he was named State Player of the Year.

Personal Life

Jack Mildren was known as the Godfather of the Wishbone offense that revolutionized college football during the 1970s. A true Renaissance man, Jack wielded many talents – banking executive, running for governor of Oklahoma and hosting daily sports radio show host were just a few examples – while being an incredible father and husband in life.

He led his Abilene Cooper Cougars to a Texas state championship game in 1967, only to lose on an controversial play that still raises eyebrows today.

Mildren was instrumental in turning around Oklahoma’s fortunes during Chuck Fairbanks’ new wishbone attack and helping lead it from its inauspicious beginning to an 11-1 mark by his junior season.

Net Worth

Jack Mildren was the pioneering quarterback of University of Oklahoma’s celebrated wishbone offense. During his junior year – in 1970 – he led his team to its inaugural Sugar Bowl victory despite some setbacks. Jack never gave up, even during defeat.

Mildren played with both the Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots during his NFL career, in addition to serving one term as lieutenant governor of Oklahoma and founding Regency Exploration oil company.

He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer two years earlier and passed away Thursday at Integris Baptist Medical Center, according to his brother. He leaves behind a wife and three children; served as vice chairman for Arvest Bank; hosted daily sports radio show; lived in Tulsa where his mother, step-daughters and great-granddaughter reside;

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