Blog Entry

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

Posted on: September 4, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2011 7:12 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

NFL Hall of Famer and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Lee Roy Selmon died Sunday two days after suffering a massive stroke, multiple outlets are reporting. He was 56.

Selmon was listed in critical condition Saturday morning and had shown improvement in the hours that followed. David Lewis, Selmon’s former teammate, said at the time that "The family is leaning on their faith and nobody has more faith than Lee Roy. Things like this can turn and they can turn for the best. That's what I'm hoping and praying for.

"He has too much to live for," Lewis continued. "There's no doubt in my mind that he has achieved his eternal salvation, but I want more time with him. He's my brother. I think he's going to be strong. Dewey is strong. ... I just want him to keep getting better.''

The Tampa Tribune reports that since being admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital Friday, a steady stream of family and former teammates had visited Selmon to offer support.

"I don't know what to say," former Bucs quarterback Doug Williams offered. "Nobody expects something like this to happen, but you don't control it. I'm 56, just like Lee Roy. There's not a whole lot to say."

Selmon was the first player inducted into Tampa Bay's Ring of Honor and's Brett McMurphy tweeted Sunday evening that "[Selmon] was nicest man I've ever known. RIP Lee Roy."

A memorial service is planned in Tampa before Selmon's body is flown to his native Oklahoma for burial services.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:27 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

I was a very young man when Ley Roy and his brother Dewey were the anchor of the Tampa Bay Defensive line.  Though a die hard Panther fan now... You couldn't help but to pull for the hapless Bucs back during their day. 

We will miss you Lee Roy.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:27 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

It's a sad day for the Sooner family, the South Florida family and for the Tampa Bay family.  Lee Roy was a legend here in Oklahoma and the work he put into bringing along the South Florida program was a labor of love.
Former Congressman and OU Quarterback, J. C. Watts, reported in one of his books that the success of Lee Roy Selmon and his brothers was a major reason he set his own sights so high.  They were all from the same small town in Eastern Oklahoma. 
God bless Lee Roy's family during this time of loss. 
Sen. Mike Fair, retired Oklahoma State Senator

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:19 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

Very sad and too soon for such a great man.

But after seeing first-hand the devastating effects of a major stroke, I think he is in a much better place now. RIP.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:12 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

Rest in peace my friend. You were a great man off the field as you were on the field. Truly a very big loss.

Since: Aug 3, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:32 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

A great man - RIP

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:22 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

When John McKay was selected as the first head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs I became a fan.

When Lee Roy Selmon was selected as the first college player in the first round> becoming the original Buc, I was happy, because I felt that the team had a chance to actually win a couple of games.

After his brother Dewey was selected a round or two later, I definitely felt the team would win a few games in it’s inaugural season. We all know how those wins came about.

The team was not on TV that much in those days, but when they were I would watch hoping to see lee Roy get a sack. That was the only reason for a Buc fan to get excited in those days. #1 to be on TV #2 for Lee Roy to make a sack.

It was reported at one time that Lee Roy was getting better, and joy returned to my heart, only to hear shortly that he had died at the ripe young age of 56 with his 57th birthday in October.

I only remember him as a football player from Oklahoma. I see that others remember him as a community member, a AD for a university. I am sure his family will remember him as a father, brother, husband, cousin and son with fond memories.

I never met the man but you can tell a lot about a man by what others say about him. Barry Switzer, his college coach said “he was the best player I ever coached.” Monte Clark of the Detroit said “A grown man at work among a bunch of boys.”

These comments were made while Lee Roy was able to hear them or smell the roses as we say.

It was a privilege to have watched such a great Buc play for the Tampa Bay Bucs. I have many fond memories of this great player and as I have learned from the comments on this site a great man and human being.

My condolences to the Selmon family and the families he left at Oklahoma and Tampa Bay.

We lost the original Buc.



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:14 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

This is a real tragedy, but from what I have read and heard Lee Roy himself would not feel bad about going home to the Lord. I have vacationed for years in Tampa after Lee Roy's palying career and have gone to his restaurants many times, and they are fantastic. Recipes based on those from his mother, and the place has a real feel of "family". I remember what a great college and professional player he was, but when you are in Tampa and hear people talk about what a special human being he was, you know how great a loss this is. I was told he went to work for a bank after his playing days because he wanted to help the community, and did quite well. When the University of South Florida wanted to START a major college football program, they brought in Leroy to get support from the community, and he gave that school 110% of his efforts. Look at USF over the last 10 years. They are more competitive than teams with 100 years of tradition. From his community to higher education to children, Lee Roy made everything and everyone around him better. Look at all the articles written about him, and read what people say about him. Words like "humble". "Nicest man I have ever met". "Special". "True role model". If only every athlete, and every person, were the kind of man Lee Roy Selmon was, this country would be a much better place.  That is the kind of man Tampa, and all of us, have lost. Rest in peace, Lee Roy. Your work here is done.

Since: Jun 29, 2010
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:08 am

Selmon dies at 56 > Sad day for fans of the 80s

Having grown up a Giant fan when the Bucs came into the league in '76, it was somewhat refreshing to have a team nearly as bad as the Giants in the Bucs.  The Giants were generally terrible in those days, but the Bucs were a breadth of fresh air in spite of losing their first 26 games.  As a fan of the underdog, I always pulled for them in the day, and Lee Roy was the best thing to root for.  Great player on an inempt team.  Though they didn't make it to the Super Bowl after turning it around so quickly (making the playoffs in '78 and hosting the title game in '79 against the Rams), it was a great tribute to their perservenance at making such a run at the imporable.  Lee Roy, amongst other guys as Doug Williams, Jimmie Giles, Rickey Bell, Kevin House, et al, made for a fun and fruitful team.  Lee Roy was the best of them all, and he is firmly entrenched in the HOF where he belongs.  'Tis a said day for the Gulf Coast in losing the player who most prodimanatly led the Bucs from eniptitude to legitimacy.
My pain is real for the the fans of the Bucs!
All the best in a difficult time to Lee Roy's family, friends, and fanbase.
Finbar from NJ

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:08 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

It's a shame to see this great player pass at such a young age. Man was Oklahoma a force when the Selmon brothers played there. This Husker fan remembers and also remembers how nice the people in Selmon's hometown of Eufaula Oklahoma are.
I wish to send condolences to the Selmon family, the proud citizens of Eufaula, and all Sooner fans over the passing of this football great.

I'm sure the people in the Tampa/St.Petersburg are also saddened to learn the passing of one of the greats of its Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Since: Jan 29, 2010
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:06 am

Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon dies at 56

A LEGEND. Both on and off the field. The Tampa Bay area will not be the same without him. Im sad today, and I cant wait to honor you at the first Bucs game this year. I'll be there. RIP

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or