University of Oklahoma

Owens was a power back for the Sooners where he ravaged defenses from 1967-69, setting four conference records of the day.

Heisman Winner

Steve Owens

RB | Senior | University of Oklahoma

Owens won Oklahoma’s second Heisman, joining Billy Vessels.

The 6-2, 215-pounder was born in Gore, Okla., but raised in Miami, Okla., where he was a standout at Miami High.

Owens signed with Oklahoma and became a power back for the Sooners. He ravaged defenses from 1967-69, setting four conference records of the day. He totaled 869 yards and 13 scores in 1967 and 1,536 yards and 21 touchdowns in 1968.

OU’s workhorse carried the ball 358 times in 1969 for 1,523 yards while scoring 23 touchdowns (a school record). Playing on a 1969 squad that had been hurt badly by graduation in 1968, Owens carried the load for the Sooner offense. Owens had two 200-plus yard games while leading the Sooners to a 6-4 season. For his efforts, he was awarded the Heisman.

Owens left a mark on the OU record book. He is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 57 touchdowns during his career. Owens holds the record for the most carries in a game (55) and career (958). He finished his career with 4,041 yards on the ground, the third most in school history.

Detroit drafted Owens in the first round, the 19th selection of the 1970 draft. He was the first Lion to gain over 1,000 yards in a season and was an All-Pro selection in 1971 and 1972. In 1991, Owens was named to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and was the Walter Camp Foundation Alumnus of the Year. Owens was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor in 1992

Owens is CEO of Steve Owens Associates and Steve Owens Insurance Group, both of which offer a full range of insurance and service related products, located in Norman, Oklahoma. He served as Oklahoma’s Athletic Director from 1996 to 1998. He is the founding member of both the Norman Public School Foundation and Miami (OK) Public School Foundation. Steve has been a spokesman for the Ronald McDonald House and played a key role in raising funds to bring the House to Oklahoma City. Steve has given his time to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Child Welfare Citizens Advisory Board, the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Football Foundation, and the Advisory Board for the Norman Family YMCA. He is on the Board of Directors of the Jim Thorpe Association, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, the Board of Directors for Thunderbird Clubhouse, City Care, and Arvest Bank. He also serves on the Selection Committees for both the Doak Walker Award and the Danny Wuerffel Award.

Owens was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1991.

More Articles About Steve Owens

Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 1212 - Announced: November 25, 1969.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1Steve OwensSRRBOklahoma2942181701488
2Mike PhippsSRQBPurdue2262301961334
3Rex KernJRQBOhio State154134126856
4Archie ManningJRQBMississippi1207670582
5Mike ReidSRDTPenn State613936297
6Mike McCoySRDTNotre Dame316567290
7Jim OtisSRFBOhio State122731121
8Jim PlunkettJRQBStanford211625120
9Steve KinerSRLBTennessee142027109
10Jack TatumJSSOhio State132222105

Three points are awarded for first place on a ballot, with two points for second place and one point for third place.

Heisman Voting By Region

At this time, Heisman voters are spread out across five regions.


1Archie Manning
2Steve Owens
3Mike Phipps
4Rex Kern
5Steve Kiner


1Mike Phipps
2Steve Owens
3Mike Reid
4Rex Kern
5Mike McCoy


1Mike Phipps
2Steve Owens
3Rex Kern
4Mike McCoy
5Jim Otis


1Steve Owens
2Mike Phipps
3Rex Kern
4Archie Manning
5Mike McCoy

Far West

1Steve Owens
2Mike Phipps
3Rex Kern
4Jim Plunkett
5Bobby Anderson


Steve Owen’s Heisman Year Statistics

DateOpponentResultAttYdsYPCTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysAPYYPPTotal TDs
9/20/69at WisconsinW 48-21401894.724000.000401894.74
9/27/69PittsburghW 37-8291043.583000.000291043.63
10/11/69+ #1 TexasL 17-27301234.1012178.500321404.41
10/18/69#16 ColoradoW 42-30281124.004000.000281124.04
10/25/69at Kansas StateL 21-59291053.621000.000291053.61
11/1/69Iowa StateW 37-14532484.674166.000542544.74
11/8/69at #6 MissouriL 10-44291093.751000.00030112*3.81
11/15/69KansasW 31-15442014.563000.000442014.63
11/22/69#11 NebraskaL 14-4421713.380199.00022803.60
11/29/69at Oklahoma StateW 28-27552614.742000.000552614.72
Heisman Stats6-435815234.25234328.00036215584.323
Totals6-4; Unranked35815234.25234328.00036215584.323

(+) Neutral Site
(*) Includes a 3-yard kickoff return.

Owens was also 2 of 3 passing on the year for 25 yards. (1/1, 16 yds, vs. Colorado, 1/1, 9 yds, vs. Iowa State, 0/1 vs. OSU)