By Bob Allen
A former star college football quarterback who talked about his Christian faith in large venues long before Tim Tebow was born died March 17 in a plane crash in Indiana.
Former Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis, 60, and his friend, Wesley Caves, 58, both of Tulsa, were killed when Caves’ Beechcraft Premier I twin-engine jet crashed into a neighborhood near South Bend, Ind. Both men were licensed pilots and were crew on the flight.
Officials said it was unclear who was flying at the time, but the aircraft reported electrical issues shortly before the fatal crash. Two passengers survived and were taken to a local hospital.
Davis quarterbacked the Sooners to the team’s 1974 and 1975 national championships. During his career, Davis went 32-1-1, including 28 straight victories. Ordained a Baptist minister as a teenager, Davis got six minutes to share his testimony on a nationally televised Billy Graham Crusade on Sept. 4, 1975.
Former head coach Barry Switzer remembered his first quarterback on Twitter as a “great role model for young people on and off the field.”
Joe Castiglione, OU vice president for intercollegiate athletics and director of athletics, called Davis “a great champion and someone who set a wonderful example for others.”
Davis was a member of First Baptist Church in Tulsa. His pastor, Deron Spoo, described him as a man of deep faith who was committed to his church.
“He had a positive influence for Christ on people’s lives. It was very obvious,” Spoo said in the Tulsa World. “His life was cut short, but he will leave a legacy.”
Davis was long involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and had recently joined the area FCA board.
Services for Davis are pending with Moore’s Southlawn Funeral Home in Tulsa.