Football Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon dies after stroke
Lee Roy Selmon is inducted into the Buccaneers' Ring of Honor at halftime of a game at Raymond James Stadium in 2009.
September 4th, 2011
11:25 PM ET

Football Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon dies after stroke

Lee Roy Selmon, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first-ever draft pick, died Sunday after suffering a stroke two days earlier, the team said.

The 56-year-old had been admitted to a Tampa, Florida, hospital after suffering the stroke Friday.

Selmon, a two-time national champion and three-time All-American at Oklahoma University, played nine seasons after the expansion Buccaneers made him the first overall pick in the 1976 draft. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1979, when the Bucs made it to the NFC championship game.

He still is the team’s all-time leader in sacks (78.5) and forced fumbles (28.5) and is the only Hall of Fame member to have played all of his seasons with Tampa Bay.

“He not only helped define the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but established himself as one of the best ever at the defensive end position,” Steve Perry, president of the Hall of Fame, said on the hall’s website.

The Glazer family, which has owned the Buccaneers since 1995, said in a statement Sunday that Selmon’s “standing as the first Buc in the Hall of Fame surely distinguishes him, but his stature off the field as the consummate gentleman put him in another stratosphere.”

The six-time Pro Bowler retired after the 1984 season and was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1995, with an induction speech by his brother and Oklahoma and Tampa Bay teammate, Dewey Selmon.

Selmon became associate athletic director at the University of South Florida in the mid-1990s, and helped fund-raising and other efforts to establish a new football program for the school. The team began playing as a NCAA Division I-AA program in 1997, and it rose to Division I-A - now the Football Bowl Subdivision - in 2001.

Selmon was USF's athletic director from 2001 to 2004.

"We all loved him, and we're all deeply saddened," USF President Judy Genshaft said in a statement released by the school. "We're a better university because of Lee Roy Selmon. He was an incredible role model who cared about all of our student-athletes, no matter what sport. He built an incredible legacy and he will never be forgotten."

His jersey number, 63, is the only one that the Bucs have retired, and an expressway in Tampa was named after him in 1999, according to the NFL team.

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Filed under: Florida • Football • Pro football • Sports
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Condolences to his family and friends.

    September 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cry Baby


    September 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dr. Bombay

    Thanks for the memories, Leroy. An excellent Defensive End and great steward of the game. You will always be missed.

    September 5, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    This sort of thing is happening far too often these days.(seemingly healthy 50-somethiing yr. old men suffering strokes previously reserved for very old people) Even my B/F from HS, who has been a fighfighter for over 25 years had one. I have deduced, after much research, that the foods readily available these days cause our bodies natural Ph balance to go out of whack. And since the human body's natural reaction to an overly acidic diet is to increase cholesterol levels, many of us have been diagnosed with "high cholesterol". Artificially lowering your body's natural cholestrol level exposes your heart and other vital organs to acid-attack. One study (there have been many) showed that almost all active senior citizens have what dr's call "high cholesterol" and few have had strokes or bypass procedures. Whilesenior's confined to old-age homes, while being the same age as the active seniors, have a high-rate of strokes and have most-all had their cholesterol levels artificially lowered with medications...

    September 5, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • phorse

      Please provide one or more citations for the peer-reviewed research supporting your extraordinary assertions that the foods available today cause the "bodies pH to go out of whack," and that increased cholesterol production is the bodies response. Without that, your claims are nothing more than anecdotes, which sadly so many people accept as fact. If you're unable to provide the backup I'm asking you to, then please read a book or take a course to develop some critical thinking skills. Among books, here's a great one: The Demon-Haunted World; Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan.

      September 5, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dante Orlando Brown

    He was a tough defensive player on the field and a gentleman off the field.

    September 5, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    ...medications prescribed and made more readily available at old-age homes. My very own grandmother, Lena Pearl Roper (RIP) died within 4 years after her sons and daughters had her confined to an old-age home in Fruita, CO. They began reducing her body's natural cholesterol levels as soon as she arrived. And yes, my HS B/F, healthy as a horse, suffered his first stroke 3 yrs. after doctor's placed him on these meds. Now, when we go to HS reunions and hike Bear's Ears peaks, just as we did as kids, he has to stop every 15 min. or so and rest, keeping a close eye on his heart rate. Think twice, and twice again before allowing your own body's natrual defense against acid-attack to be weakened. (RIP Mr. Selmon)

    September 5, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. jacks

    Sorry to hear he passed away at such a early age. All the best to his family, I watched alot of football in the days he played. Hope he is in a better place.

    September 5, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. lawrence, ohio

    Lee Roy Selmon, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end is a true legend in football.

    He died way too young.

    Is anyone paying attention in the NCAA/NFL?

    Former NCAA/NFL player...

    September 5, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Fox Mulder


    September 5, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Fullbag

    "His jersey number, 63, is the only one that the Bucs have retired, and an expressway in Tampa was named after him in 1999, according to the team."

    'ACCORDING to the team'? You mean, CNN couldn't verify this information?

    September 5, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Cachuw

      I guess we all no what your bag is full of!

      September 5, 2011 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |

    Lee Roy Selmon was a true "diamond in the rough". The Buccaneers were the joke of the NFL. Until Lee Roy put a lick on you. Then the laughter stopped!

    September 5, 2011 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. lee

    2009-07-31 12:56


    阅读全文 >> 分类:默认分类|阅读(4)|评论(0) 2009年4月29日

    2009-04-29 14:41

    二: 严重脱水,总是口渴,早上起来时尤为严重;
    三: 耳朵发痒,有时侯有类似于"针刺"的刺痛感;

    阅读全文 >> 分类:默认分类|阅读(0)|评论(0) 2009年4月29日

    2009-04-29 14:41



    阅读全文 >> 分类:默认分类|阅读(0)|评论(0) 2009年4月29日

    2009-04-29 14:40



    阅读全文 >> 分类:默认分类|阅读(35)|评论(4) 2009年4月29日

    2009-04-29 14:40





    September 5, 2011 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
    • JBYJ

      Hey Lee, Why don't you save the homeland letters for your homeland? Leroy was "All American"

      September 5, 2011 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    Men, don't let this be you! If you're over 30 with a family history of strokes or heart ailments, or over 40, PLEASE go out and get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, then take the steps to correct them if they're out of whack!

    It's too easy for us to "act manly", and deny we need to go see a doctor. "I feel fine" is oftentimes the last foolish statement of someone about to DIE. Don't take away the time you could have with your loved ones, and live to enjoy your FULL life!

    This is speaking from someone who "felt fine", then went in to the doctor and found out his BP was 170 over 110..... DANGEROUSLY HIGH!!

    September 5, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lee Roy fan

    His contributions to Buccanneers and Bulls football are just a small part of his greater contribution to the Tampa Bay community. This was a man's man. Down-on-the-farm strong, smart, funny, generous, selfless, caring... There aren't enough superlatives in the English language. A great man who will be sorely missed. RIP Mr. Selmon.

    September 5, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. rick

    My condolences to his family and friends

    September 5, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
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