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Former NFL back, Heisman winner Crow dies at 79

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Former San Francisco 49ers running back and Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow died Wednesday night at age 79 in College Station, Texas.

Texas A&M, where he played college football, said in a release on Thursday that Crow was surrounded by family when he died. A cause of death was not disclosed.

After winning the Heisman in 1957 as a two-way player for the Aggies under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Crow went on to a successful career in the NFL.

Duyring his Heisman season, Crow rushed for 562 yards and six touchdowns on 129 carries, threw five touchdown passes and also had five interceptions while playing defense.

The bruising back was drafted second overall by the Cardinals in 1958 and spent seven seasons with the team in Chicago and St. Louis before he was traded to the 49ers in 1965. Crow was named to four Pro Bowls during his career before retiring after the 1969 season.

In 11 NFL seasons, he rushed for 4,963 yards and 38 touchdowns on 1,157 carries and added 258 receptions for 3,699 yards and 35 touchdowns. His four seasons with the 49ers produced 1,474 yards and five touchdowns on 370 carries and 120 catches for 1,738 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Crow entered coaching after his retirement and spent three years with Bryant at Alabama before returning to the NFL as an assistant with Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers.

In 1975, Crow moved to his native state as head coach and athletic director at Northeast Louisiana University, posting a 20-34-1 record in six seasons. In 1983, he went back to Texas A&M as assistant athletic director, was promoted to athletic director in 1988 and worked in various university positions until his retirement in 2001.


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