Steve Owens (American football)

Loren Everett "Steve" Owens (born December 9, 1947) is a former football player, a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons in the early 1970s.

Owens played college football for the University of Oklahoma, and was the 1969 Heisman Trophy winner and an All-American. He was selected in the first round of the 1970 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions, 19th overall, and became the first Lion to rush for over a thousand yards in a season.

Steve Owens
No. 36
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:December 9, 1947 (age 71)
Gore, Oklahoma
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Miami (OK)
NFL Draft:1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19
Career history
As player:
As administrator:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:2,451
Yards per carry:3.9
Rushing touchdowns:20
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Born in Gore, Oklahoma, Owens was raised in Miami, Oklahoma. He attended Miami High School, where he was a standout high school football player for the Miami Wardogs.

College career

Owens played college football for the University of Oklahoma in Norman from 1967 to 1969. As a senior in 1969, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American, and became the second Oklahoma Sooner to win the Heisman Trophy (after Billy Vessels, and preceding Sam Bradford, Jason White, Billy Sims, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray). He was the Sooners' all-time scorer with fifty-seven touchdowns until DeMarco Murray beat his record in 2010, and retains the third highest Sooners career rushing total with 4,041 yards.

Owens holds the distinction of executing touchdowns on the first three forward passes of his NCAA career.[1] He also established the career rushing record of 3,867 yards that stood for two years until Ed Marinaro broke it in 1971.[2] His 1967–1969 career points per game record would be broken the following season by Arkansas' Bill Burnett.[3]

In 2006, the university erected a bronze statue of Owens on its campus in Heisman Park, commemorating his 1969 award. He was also a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at OU.

Professional career

The Detroit Lions chose Owens in the first round (nineteenth overall) in the 1970 NFL draft, and he signed in June.[4] He played for the Lions for five seasons, from 1970 to 1974, and struggled with injuries. In his rookie year, he had a severely separated shoulder that kept him out of the season's first half.[5] Healthy, Owens rushed for 1,035 yards in 1971, becoming the first back in the history of the Lions' franchise to run for more than 1,000 yards in a single season, and was selected for the Pro Bowl.

On Thanksgiving in 1974 at Tiger Stadium, Owens opened the game with 46 yards in four carries but went down in the first quarter with ligament damage to his left knee.[6] and sat out the entire 1975 season. He retired during training camp in August 1976,[7] after a series of injuries that plagued his pro career.

Life after football

He served as the athletic director for the Oklahoma Sooners athletic program at his alma mater from August 1996 until March 1998.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 16. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  2. ^ "2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 33. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  3. ^ "2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 46. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  4. ^ "Lions sign Steve Owens". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. June 25, 1970. p. 23.
  5. ^ "Lions lose Steve Owens on injury". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 14, 1970. p. 14.
  6. ^ "Broncos' tricks trap Lions". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. November 29, 1974. p. 14, part 2.
  7. ^ "Owens calls it quits with Lions". Victoria Advocate. Texas. Associated Press. August 25, 1976. p. 3B.
  8. ^ "Briefs: Football". The Day. New London, Connecticut. March 19, 1998. p. C2.

External links

Owens (surname)

Owens is a traditional Welsh surname found in the UK. The name's original roots come from Wales. Owens, son of Owen, is an old personal name from Latin Eugenius or Audoenus. Historically in Welsh Owen is spelt Owain. It can also be found in Ireland (especially in Ulster) as an anglicisation of the surname McKeown.

Notable people with the name include:

Bill Owens (born 1950), Republican politician and former Governor of Colorado

Bill Owens (New York) (born 1949), Democratic U.S. Representative-elect for New York's 23rd Congressional District

Bill Owens (photographer), author of Suburbia

Brick Owens (1885–1949), American baseball umpire

Buck Owens (1929–2006), U.S. country singer

Candace Owens (born 1990), American political commentator

Craig Owens, American musician

Craig Owens (disambiguation), multiple people

Dana Owens, birth name of Queen Latifah (born 1970), American rapper/singer and actress

Dedrick Owens, a child involved in a U.S. school shooting on February 29, 2000

Gary Owens (1936–2015), U.S. radio and TV announcer

Ginny Owens (born 1975), American contemporary Christian music and pop singer/songwriter, author and blogger

Graeme Owens (born 1988), an English footballer

Greg Owens (born 1981), Australian football player

Isaac Owens, English footballer

Isaiah "Ikey" Owens (1974–2014) an American keyboardist formerly of The Mars Volta

Jack Owens, American singer/songwriter

Jacob Owens (born 1984), af2 defensive lineman

Jerry Owens (born 1981), American baseball player

Jesse Owens (1913–1980), U.S. Olympic athlete

Joseph Owens (Jesuit), priest, Caribbean social worker, and author

Joseph Owens (Redemptorist) (1908–2005), Canadian priest and scholar in medieval philosophy

Josh Owens (born 1988), American basketball player

Julie Owens (born 1958), Australian politician

Keith Owens (born 1969), American basketball player

Kevin Owens (born 1984), ring name of Canadian professional wrestler Kevin Steen

Lamar S. Owens Jr., U.S. Naval Academy quarterback

Mary Ann Aspinwall Owens (1928–2005), philatelist of New York

Nigel Owens (born 1971), Welsh international rugby referee

Pat Owens, former mayor of Grand Forks, North Dakota

Patricia Owens (actress) (1925–2000), Canadian-born actress in Hollywood films

Richard M. Owens (1876–1932), birth name of Dicky Owen, Welsh international rugby player

Robert Owens (disambiguation), multiple people

Samuel Owens (1856-1921), American politician

Steve Owens (American football) (born 1947), American football player and winner of the Heisman Trophy

Steve Owens (baseball) (born 1965), American college baseball coach

Terrell Owens (born 1973), football player

Tim "Ripper" Owens (born 1967), American heavy metal singer

Tinker Owens (born 1954), American football player

William Owens (disambiguation), multiple people

Steve Owens

Steve Owens may refer to:

Steve Owens (politician) (1956–2016), Canadian politician

Steve Owens (American football) (born 1947), 1969 Heisman Trophy winner

Steve Owens (baseball) (born 1965), American college baseball coach

Steve Owens (Missouri) (born 1956), interim president of the University of Missouri system

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