UNDATED (AP) – John Blake, the former Oklahoma football player and Head coach died on Thursday he was 59. Blake’s wife, Freda, said he had a “heart-related emergency” at his home in Dallas on Thursday morning. Blake was hired as the Sooners’ head coach in December 1995. He had a 12-22 record in three seasons, but his recruiting success laid the foundation for the program’s resurgence. Blake was a four-year letterwinner as a nose guard for the Sooners from 1979 to 1982.
Blake three seasons as defensive line coach at Nebraska under Head coach Bill Callahan. Blake played a pivotal role in helping the Big Red sign its top-rated class in the modern recruiting era in 2005. Blake was either the lead recruiter, position coach or simply played a key role in the recruiting process for players such as Ndamukong Suh, Marlon Lucky, Barry Turner, Phillip Dillard, Ola Dagunduro, Barry Cryer and Steve Octavien
just to name a few. In all, Blake was an important figure in helping sign well over a third of that 2005 signing class that ended up ranked No. 5 in the nation.