Hundreds of friends and family came to the First Baptist Church in
downtown Tulsa Monday to pay their final respects to former OU
quarterback legend Steve Davis. He died from injuries sustained in a jet
crash March 17 in South Bend, Indiana.
Several recognizable faces from the University of Oklahoma were in attendance including Davis's former head coach Barry Switzer, along with former Sooner linebacker Brian Bosworth, and current Athletic Director Joe Castiglione.
Several of those closest to Davis, a native of
Sallisaw, shared anecdotes of his antics on the football field and
around Norman. But to those who knew him best, their memories as of him
as a football player are overshadowed by Davis's compassion as a man
Bo Davis, Steve's only child, delivered perhaps the most heartfelt speech of the service. In short, Bo described his father as a legend not because of Steve's accomplishments as a football player, but because of his dedication to his son.
"[I have] a
lot of great memories with dad," Bo said afterward. "All of them
revolve around following him to different events and things like that. A
lot of [memories] are just of us playing catch, or going swimming,
'fun & sun' -- stuff like that."
A short film followed the stories shared. The feature was a collection of short videos and images put to music; capturing some of the most special moments in Steve Davis's life. A dry eye was hard to find.
And it had nothing to do with the dim lighting.
Davis was also an ordained Baptist minister dating back to his college days in Norman. Following the service, Barry Switzer spoke with reporters briefly. At one point, Tulsa World sports writer Bill Haisten jokingly asked Switzer, a man known for his less-than-conservative lifestyle, if his quarterback ever tried to "save him."
"No, no, nothing like that," Switzer laughed. "We actually tried to 'convert' him. But Steve wouldn't hear of it."
family members were asked to describe Steve Davis in a word, one of
the adjectives used was "resilient." Davis, the last OU scholarship
player of his incoming class, started out eighth on the team's depth
chart at quarterback. By the end of Davis's career at Oklahoma, he had
led the Sooners to two national championships.
It was one of many times Steve Davis's faith in life was rewarded.