The college football world is mourning the loss of John David Crow today. The former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M running back passed away at the age of 79 Wednesday night.
“John David Crow passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife, Carolyn, and family. Services are pending and the family requests privacy at this time,” a statement released by Texas A&M Thursday read.
Crow was the first player from Texas A&M to win the Heisman Trophy, and he was the only Heisman winner to play for the legendary Bear Bryant. Crow won the Heisman Trophy in 1957 and was part of the first Aggie team to defeat rival Texas at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium the previous season. During his Heisman season, Crow earned scholastic All-American honors while playing both offense and defense for the Aggies. Bryant at one point said Heisman voters ought “to do away with the thing” if Crow didn’t win the Heisman Trophy. Crow ran away with the voting with 241 first-place votes and 1,183 total points to pull away from Iowa’s Alex Karras for the award.
Crow went on to have a Pro Bowl career in the NFL with the Chicago and St. Louis Cardinals and then the San Francisco 49ers. He was later named to the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team and got involved in coaching at Alabama under Bryant. He then moved on to coach as an assistant in the NFL before being named head coach of Northeast Louisiana in 1976, where he also served as athletics director. His AD career saw him return to Texas A&M, first as an assistant from 1983 through 1988 and then promoted to athletics director in 1988. He served the Texas A&M athletics program in that role until 1993.
Crow was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1976. The video below was shared by the National Football Foundation.