Lee Roy Selmon Dies

A great football player, a true gentleman and the spark to USF athletics dies after being hospitalized Friday.



From USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2011) – The University of South Florida is devastated by news of the passing of Lee Roy Selmon, perhaps the greatest sports icon for Tampa Bay and the university. A Hall of Fame Buccaneer and former Athletic Director at USF, Selmon led fund raising for USF Athletics as president of the USF Foundation Partnership for Athletics. 


"We all loved him, and we're all deeply saddened," said USF President Judy Genshaft. "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." 


USF Athletic Director Doug Woolard was selected after Selmon stepped down as AD for health reasons in 2004.


"Lee Roy set the stage for class, for academics, and for integrity," Woolard said. "He was a mentor to me after I moved to Tampa, and a friend in every way."


At USF Athletics, Selmon built the university's football program, leading USF's move into Conference USA, and then into the Big East Conference. 


A fantastic star for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was the first Buccaneer enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame, in 1995. A native of Eufala, Oklahoma, and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he lived in Tampa after his career with the Buccaneers. In 1988, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He joined USF in 1993 as Assistant Athletic Director. He was Athletic Director from 2001-2004.


"Lee Roy was a hall of famer for the Bucs, a hall of famer for USF, and a hall of famer for this community," said John Ramil, chair of USF's Board of Trustees, and president and CEO of TECO Energy. "He created and sustained a fantastic group of leaders and supporters for USF and USF Athletics."


After the family services, USF will plan a university memorial, President Genshaft said.


STATEMENT from the Family of Lee Roy Selmon:


It is with very heavy hearts that the Selmon Family announces the passing of our beloved husband, father and brother, Lee Roy Selmon.  Lee Roy passed away today surrounded by family and friends at St. Joseph’s Hospital.


For all his accomplishments on and off the field, to us Lee Roy was the rock of our family. This has been a sudden and shocking event and we are devastated by this unexpected loss. We deeply appreciate the prayers and support shown by family, friends, the football community and the public over the past two days.


For those wishing to honor Lee Roy’s many contributions, we ask that donations be made to Abe Brown Ministries or the University of South Florida Foundation Partnership for Athletics.


We ask now for privacy at this very sad time and will not be making any further statements until funeral arrangements are announced at a later time.