A Tribute to an Aggie Legend

He was more than a football player, more than a coach or athletics director…he was Aggie legend.

John David Crow passed away Wednesday night surrounded by his family. He was 79 years old.

Crow was a very successful man both on and off the field. He began his football career with the Aggies in 1954 and earned his stripes as a ‘Junction Boy’. Under head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, he lettered three years from 1955-57. Crow’s greatest on-field achievement at A&M was being the first Aggie to win the Heisman Trophy his senior year.


After college, Crow became the second overall pick in the 1958 NFL draft. He was selected by the Chicago Cardinals and later moved to the San Francisco 49ers playing a total of 11 seasons in the NFL. He served as a team captain for both teams, was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, and was on the 1960s All-Pro team as a halfback.

Off the field, he began his coaching career at the University of Alabama under Coach Bryant. Following the 1971 season, Crow served as an assistant for the Cleveland Browns and later the San Diego Chargers. In December 1975, he was named Head Coach and Athletics Director at University of Louisiana Monroe.

Crow then had a long and glorious career with A&M. In 1983, he came home to Aggieland in the role of Associate Athletics Director. He served in that role until December 1988 when he was promoted to Athletics Director. Crow remained the Athletics Director until 1993 when he became the Director of Athletic Development. In June of 2001, Crow officially retired from the greatest university around.

To round out his honors, Crow was inducted into four hall of fames- Texas A&M Hall of Fame (1968), Louisiana Hall of Fame (1976), National Football Foundation Hall of Fame (1976), and Texas Sports Hall of Fame (1982). He was also given Distinguished Alumnus status by Texas A&M in 2004.

Aggie football head coach Kevin Sumlin was quoted remembering Crow’s commitment to A&M, his support, and his willingness serve.

“John David Crow was the very definition of Aggie Legend.”

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