Former Oklahoma coach John Blake died on Thursday, according to multiple reports. He was 59.
Former Sooners quarterback Dean Blevins, the sports director for KWTV in Oklahoma City, reported that Blake suffered a heart attack while he was out for a walk. Blevins cited former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer as the source of that information.
Blake went 12-22 as Oklahoma’s coach from 1996-98. He never had a winning record, going 3-8 in his first season, 4-8 in 1997 and 5-6 in his final season before being fired.
He was replaced by Bob Stoops, and Blake later received credit for his recruiting efforts, as the bulk of the school’s 2000 national championship squad joined the program during his tenure.
Blake was a nose guard at Oklahoma from 1979-82 and later became a coach. He was an assistant at Tulsa from 1987-88 before joining the Sooners’ staff, serving four seasons prior to leaving after the 1992 season to become defensive line coach of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Switzer became the Dallas head coach one season later.
After being fired by Oklahoma, Blake later had college assistant stints at Mississippi State (2003), Nebraska (2004-06) and North Carolina (2007-10). He also was the defensive line coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2016.