DALLAS, Texas - University of Tulsa Hall of Famer and former NFL defensive lineman Willie Townes died at the age of 74 on Saturday in Dallas, Texas.

TENURE AT TULSA...

Townes is arguably the best defensive linemen that's ever played for the Golden Hurricane.

After transferring from Coffeyville Junior College, he and some of his teammates became the first to break the color barrier at Tulsa in 1964.

During his time at TU, Townes was a dominant force on two Bluebonnet Bowl teams, was an honorable mention All-America selection by the Associated Press (1964), was selected as an all-Missouri Valley Conference defensive lineman and named the MVC's Sophomore of the Year by United Press International (1964).

In the Golden Hurricane's 1964 bowl win over Ole Miss, Townes’ performance earned him the game’s MVP.

He played for TU teams that recorded 9-2 (1964) and 8-3 (1965) records. 

He was inducted into the program's Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1986 class. 

IN THE PROS...

He was the second-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 1966, after bypassing his final year of eligibility. He played a total of seven seasons in the NFL with the Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and New York Giants.

His funeral services will be held July 28 at 11 a.m. in Dallas at Christian Stronghold Church. 

Photo Courtesy of the Tulsa Football Twitter page.