Ramsey helped Campbell win Heisman

Updated: July 20, 2004, 12:37 AM ET
Associated Press

Jones Ramsey, who served as sports information director under legendary football coaches Paul "Bear" Bryant and Darrell Royal and helped two players win the Heisman Trophy, died Monday. He was 83.

Ramsey died after a massive heart attack at an Austin, Texas, hospital, his son Paul Ramsey said.

After spending nine years at Texas A&M, including all four of Bryant's seasons there, Ramsey went to the University of Texas in 1960.

Bryant contemplated taking Ramsey with him to Alabama when he left Texas A&M in 1958, but Paul Ramsey said the coach told his father he'd have better benefits staying. Two years later, Bryant encouraged Royal to hire Ramsey, and he stayed at Texas until retiring in 1982.

John David Crow won the Heisman Trophy for Texas A&M in 1957, and Earl Campbell won it 20 years later at Texas.

"I think probably the best tribute to Jones was the Heisman Trophy campaign with Earl," said Bill Little, who became Texas' SID when Ramsey retired. "Jones believed as we do today that the Heisman should be won on the field."

There was no campaign for Campbell, but Texas did develop a new statistic -- yards after contact.

"That more than anything won the Heisman for Earl," Little said. "No one else was doing that."

Both players gave Ramsey autographed pictures thanking him after they won the Heisman.

Ramsey began his career as a sports writer in Stillwater, Okla.

A Ponca City, Okla. native, Ramsey graduated from Oklahoma A&M, now known as Oklahoma State. He returned to his hometown after retiring from Texas, but moved back to Austin in 1997 to live with his children.

He was known for his one-liners and is remembered for a famous one about Texas football.

"The two main sports in Texas are football and spring football," Ramsey once said.

A past president of CoSIDA, Ramsey also served on the NCAA public relations committee. He was given the prestigious Arch Ward Award for service in sports information in 1982 and was voted into the organization's Hall of Fame. He worked 13 NCAA Final Fours.

He is survived by two daughters, Mary Margaret Ramsey Hollis of Houston and Linda Ramsey of Austin and his son; by a stepdaughter, Sally Lehr of Houston and a stepson, Ed Lehr of St. Paul, Minn.; one sister, Mildred Kemper of Houston; and five grandchildren.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press