Lee Roy Selmon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Hall of Fame defensive end who teamed with his brothers to create a dominant defensive front and led Oklahoma to back-to-back national championships, died Sunday -- two days after being hospitalized for a stroke. He was 56.
A statement released on behalf of his wife, Claybra Selmon, said he died surrounded by family at a Tampa hospital.
"For all his accomplishments on and off the field, to us, Lee Roy was the rock of our family. This has been a sudden and shocking event, and we are devastated by this unexpected loss," the statement said.
Selmon was hospitalized Friday, and the Buccaneers confirmed later that he had a stroke.
For the record: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported Lee Roy Selmon's age as 57. He was 56.
The Glazer family, which owns the team, released a statement mourning him.
"This is an incredibly somber day for Buccaneer fans, Sooner fans, and all football fans. Lee Roy's standing as the first Buc in the Hall of Fame surely distinguished him, but his stature off the field as the consummate gentleman put him in another stratosphere," the statement said.
Selmon and his brother, Dewey, were chosen as All-Americans in 1975 when the Sooners won their second straight championship under Barry Switzer. They followed older brother Lucious to Oklahoma, and the three played together during the 1973 season.
Selmon followed his college career with an equally impressive run in the NFL. He was the No. 1 pick in the 1976 draft — the first ever selection by expansion Tampa Bay — and suffered through a winless inaugural season before achieving success. In 1979, he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award when he helped Tampa Bay make it to the NFC championship game. The Buccaneers also won the NFC Central title two years later.
Born Oct. 20, 1954, in Eufaula, Okla., Selmon retired after the 1984 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.