R.C. Owens dies at age 78

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 18, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO - 2009: Jed York of the San Francisco 49ers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in San Francisco, California. (Photo by NFL Photos)
R.C. Owens, a longtime 49ers front office man and eight-year NFL wide receiver whose impressive leaping ability earned him the nickname ''Alley Oop'' and helped popularize the basketball phrase, died Sunday at age 78. The Niners, his team for the first five of his NFL seasons, announced Owens' death on Monday. The team said he died Sunday and had been living in Manteca, about 75 miles east of San Francisco. ''The 49ers family has suffered a great loss with the passing of R.C. Owens,'' 49ers Owner and Chairman John York said. ''Long after his days as a player were over, his devotion to the organization remained strong. R.C. was an ever-present supporter of the 49ers Foundation and did great works with the community at large. The San Francisco 49ers and our faithful fans will forever be grateful for his contributions and he will be sincerely missed.'' The 6-foot-3 Owens, a college basketball star at the College of Idaho, also played two seasons for the Baltimore Colts, and his final year was with the New York Giants in 1964. He had 206 career receptions for 3,285 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also ran for a score. Owens, elected into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, was selected by the 49ers in the 14th round of the 1956 draft, 160th overall. After retirement, Owens worked from 1979 to 2001 for the 49ers in a variety of positions, including director of training camp and director of alumni relations. The 49ers said he loved his role of entertaining and caring for players' families while the players practiced. When San Francisco held training camp in Stockton from 1998-02, Owens started a summer reading program in schools while doubling as the 49ers training camp director. That program recruited more than 10,000 kids from San Joaquin County into reading programs. Current and former players have kept such reading programs in place, including one at Shasta Elementary in Manteca where he lived. ''The 49ers are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of R.C. Owens,'' 49ers CEO Jed York said. ''While his accomplishments on the field are well celebrated, his contributions to our organization and the Bay Area community are equally as impressive. As a player and a member of the 49ers front office, R.C. was a tremendous ambassador for our team. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his friends, family, teammates and fans.'' Owens was born on Nov. 12, 1933, in Shreveport, La. He is survived by his wife, Susan.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The first time John Randle talked trash in the NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker