When Steve Owens arrived at the University of Oklahoma in 1966, he quickly joined a long line of football players who had been traditionally active in the FCA Huddle on campus. Owens continued to support the organization as a speaker and volunteer throughout his college and professional days and beyond.
An accomplished football and track athlete at Miami (OK) High School, Owens starred on the gridiron at the University of Oklahoma where he led the Sooners to the 1968 Orange Bowl title and earned Associated Press Big Eight Outstanding Player honors as a junior. He set a Big Eight record with 30 points in a game against Nebraska and set an NCAA record with 17 straight games with 100 or more rushing yards.
As a senior in 1969, Owens won the Heisman Trophy and the Walter Camp Award, and was a consensus All-American. For his career, he rushed for 3,928 yards and a school record 57 touchdowns. Owens surpassed multiple Big Eight and NCAA records including O.J. Simpson’s NCAA record of 355 carries with 357.
Owens was a first round selection in the 1970 NFL Draft. He spent five years with Detroit and in 1971 became the first player in franchise history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season en route to the Pro Bowl.
Following his playing career, Owens worked as a color commentator for the Oklahoma Sooners Radio Network and started his own brokerage firm in Norman. In 1991, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and Miami High School retired his number (42). Owens, who served as Oklahoma’s athletic director during the 1990s, is also an inductee into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.