Jack Snow, 62; All-Pro Split End Had 11-Year Career With L.A. Rams

Times Staff Writer

Jack Snow, a Pro Bowl split end who played 11 years with the Los Angeles Rams before becoming part of its radio broadcast team, died Monday night. He was 62.

Snow, who had been battling a staph infection over the last two months, died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, said Duane Lewis, a Ram spokesman.

A consensus All-American at Notre Dame before becoming the Rams’ first draft choice in 1965, Snow played his entire career with Los Angeles before retiring in 1975. In 1967 he was named to the Pro Bowl after catching 28 passes for eight touchdowns and 735 yards, a 26.2-yard average.


During his career the 6-foot 2-inch, 210-pound Snow caught 340 passes for 6,012 yards and 45 touchdowns.

He and his son, J.T., a Gold Glove-winning first baseman who played for the San Francisco Giants for the last several seasons, were estranged from 1996 to 1998 in a high-profile family split. They patched up their differences when Jack Snow’s wife, Mary Carol, was battling cancer. She died in 1998.

Before that, for several years, J.T. did not speak with his father or mother.

“Those things have all been rectified, and it’s fun being a part of his life again,” Jack said in 2002 when J.T. Snow played for the Giants in the World Series against the Angels.

The elder Snow, a color analyst on Ram broadcasts, was last in the booth Nov. 20 during a home game loss to Arizona.

He still ranks among the team leaders in several receiving categories.

“The guy ran the best patterns of any receiver during our period,” former teammate and Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones said. “He was one of the few guys we had that would go across the middle and catch that football. He was tough, tough as nails.”

In recent years, Snow helped out during practice, voluntarily, mostly with receivers.

“I remember my first year. Obviously I’m a free-agent nobody and one of the last guys in the receiver line, and he was always paying particular attention to me, making sure my details were right and giving me positive feedback,” Ram receiver Dane Looker said recently.

Notre Dame recruited Snow from St. Anthony’s High in Long Beach and he played the 1962-63-64 seasons with the Fighting Irish. In his senior year he was ranked second nationally in receptions while setting a Notre Dame single-season record of 60 catches for 1,114 yards and nine touchdowns. In the season opener against Wisconsin, Snow caught passes for 217 yards -- a school single-game best at the time -- and two touchdowns.

He also was a member of the 1965 College All-Star team.

“He was a great teammate, one of the hardest-working guys that I played with,” Jones said. “A terrible loss, a terrible shocker. Jack was a young man.”

Snow’s is the latest of a series of contagious infections that have plagued the Rams, which moved to St. Louis 10 years ago. In 2003, five players developed drug-resistant infections after suffering turf burns, and two or three San Francisco 49ers developed infections after playing the Rams early that season, according to the Associated Press. The outbreak was the subject of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In August, then-linebackers coach Joe Vitt was hospitalized three days with a staph infection in his left hand. Vitt took over as head coach of the Rams in October, when Mike Martz was found to have endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart’s lining.

In addition to son J.T., Snow is survived by daughters Michelle and Stephanie.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.