Former Sooner great Rickey Dixon dead at 53 – KOCO Oklahoma City

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Former Oklahoma defensive back and 2019 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame inductee Rickey Dixon died Saturday. He was 53.Dixon was once the fiercest and most accomplished cornerbacks in OU history. He was a consensus All-American in 1987, earned first-team All-Big Eight honors as a junior and senior in 1986 and 1987 and became the first Sooner to win the Jim Thorpe Award.The cornerback finished his OU career with 170 total tackles, 17 interceptions and 303 interception return yards. The 17 career interceptions are one shy of an OU record, and his nine picks in 1987 are still a school single-season record.Dixon was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. OU honored Dixon in conjunction with the NFF and College Hall of Fame at halftime during the Sooners’ 2019 season opener against Houston.”Ever since he left OU, Rickey has been regarded as one of the finest football players in school history,” said Joe Castiglione, OU vice president and athletics director, “and his enshrinement last year into the College Football Hall of Fame is certainly validation of that. As much as any of his accomplishments on the field, however, he should be remembered for his extreme courage and spirit of perseverance.”Overcoming the daily physical struggles he faced the last several years is a testament to his determination, to his resolve and to his fighter’s mentality, as well as to those closest to him who provided so much loving support. When we think of Rickey we will reminisce about everything he achieved during and after his playing career, and we extend our sincerest condolences to his wife, Lorraine, their children and the entire Dixon family.”The Sooners went 42-5-1 during Dixon’s four years under coach Barry Switzer and played in the Orange Bowl each season. The 1985 team beat Penn State in the Orange Bowl to capture the Sooners’ sixth national championship.During the “Game of the Century II” against No. 1 Nebraska in 1987, Dixon intercepted two passes. The second pick helped seal OU’s 17-7 victory and the Sooners’ Orange Bowl Berth.The Cincinnati Bengals took Dixon with the No. 5 overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft. He played six seasons in the NFL with the Bengals and Los Angeles Raiders. Dixon made an appearance in Super Bowl XXIII with the Bengals against the San Francisco 49ers.Dixon became a motivational speaker for at-risk youth following his football career. He also owned a landscaping business, coached high school football and taught physical education at Red Oak High School in Texas.

Former Oklahoma defensive back and 2019 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame inductee Rickey Dixon died Saturday. He was 53.

Dixon was once the fiercest and most accomplished cornerbacks in OU history. He was a consensus All-American in 1987, earned first-team All-Big Eight honors as a junior and senior in 1986 and 1987 and became the first Sooner to win the Jim Thorpe Award.

The cornerback finished his OU career with 170 total tackles, 17 interceptions and 303 interception return yards. The 17 career interceptions are one shy of an OU record, and his nine picks in 1987 are still a school single-season record.

Dixon was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. OU honored Dixon in conjunction with the NFF and College Hall of Fame at halftime during the Sooners’ 2019 season opener against Houston.

“Ever since he left OU, Rickey has been regarded as one of the finest football players in school history,” said Joe Castiglione, OU vice president and athletics director, “and his enshrinement last year into the College Football Hall of Fame is certainly validation of that. As much as any of his accomplishments on the field, however, he should be remembered for his extreme courage and spirit of perseverance.

“Overcoming the daily physical struggles he faced the last several years is a testament to his determination, to his resolve and to his fighter’s mentality, as well as to those closest to him who provided so much loving support. When we think of Rickey we will reminisce about everything he achieved during and after his playing career, and we extend our sincerest condolences to his wife, Lorraine, their children and the entire Dixon family.”

The Sooners went 42-5-1 during Dixon’s four years under coach Barry Switzer and played in the Orange Bowl each season. The 1985 team beat Penn State in the Orange Bowl to capture the Sooners’ sixth national championship.

During the “Game of the Century II” against No. 1 Nebraska in 1987, Dixon intercepted two passes. The second pick helped seal OU’s 17-7 victory and the Sooners’ Orange Bowl Berth.

The Cincinnati Bengals took Dixon with the No. 5 overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft. He played six seasons in the NFL with the Bengals and Los Angeles Raiders.

Dixon made an appearance in Super Bowl XXIII with the Bengals against the San Francisco 49ers.

Dixon became a motivational speaker for at-risk youth following his football career. He also owned a landscaping business, coached high school football and taught physical education at Red Oak High School in Texas.

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