John Blake, former Oklahoma Sooners player and head coach who also was an assistant on two Cowboys Super Bowl teams in the 1990s, has passed away at age 59, the University of Oklahoma announced Thursday.
Blake played for former Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer at OU from 1979-82. He was the Cowboys' defensive line coach from 1993-95, first on Jimmy Johnson's staff and the final two years with Switzer, coaching star pass rushers Charles Haley and Leon Lett.
In 1996, Blake became OU's first Black head coach in any sport and oversaw Sooners football through 1998. For the past several years he had been a teacher and football coach at Princeton High School in North Texas.
"We are stunned and saddened by the news of Coach Blake's passing,"
OU vice president and director of athletics Joe Castiglione said in a statement."He was never hesitant in displaying love for his family, his players or how much he valued the honor of being a Sooner. His legacy as OU's first Black head coach in any sport is incredibly meaningful and will live on forever. We offer our heartfelt thoughts and our prayers to his family. He was a Sooner through and through."