Monday, September 05, 2011

Lee Roy Selmon

Two days after he was hospitalized following a massive stroke, Lee Roy Selmon, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end and University of South Florida official, passed away in Tampa at the age of 56. He was admitted to Tampa's St. Joseph Hospital on Friday.

Selmon's wife Claybra released the following statement after his passing: "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,"

Following a standout career at the University of Oklahoma, Selmon became the Buccaneers' first draft pick in the franchise's history in 1976. The team lost its first 26 games, but by 1979, head coach John McKay had turned things around to the point that the Buccaneers made it all the way to the NFC Championship game, where they lost to the Los Angeles Rams. Selmon made six Pro Bowls and picked up a First-Team All-Pro selection in 1979. He was also named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1979. He also played with his brother Dewey from 1976 through 1980.

Then as now, the Bucs were led by defense. And back then, Lee Roy Selmon was their leader. He played until 1984, which means that he only has official sack totals for three seasons (the NFL started officially tabulating sacks in 1982), but he amassed 23 all the same. The 6-foot-3, 256-pound Selmon was a terror to opposing quarterbacks, and he was also an excellent run-stopper. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.


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