“His squads won three Big Eight championships and helped lay the foundation for the program’s ongoing success with the installation of the wishbone-T offense,” current Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “I was fortunate to have many opportunities to get to know Chuck over the years.”
Fairbanks played for Michigan State’s 1952 national title team and was an assistant at Arizona State and Houston before joining the OU staff in 1966. Owens said he stayed in touch with Fairbanks because his former coach would often visit his daughter in Norman.
“Not just during football, but after football, we just loved him,” Owens said. “He was like a second father to me.”
Fairbanks worked in real estate and golf-course development after his coaching career. He occasionally worked as a consultant for NFL teams in training camp, including with the Dallas Cowboys when Bill Parcells was coach.
AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed to this story.