Forty-eight hours after former Tampa Bay defensive end and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon suffered a serious stroke, the Buccaneers legend known as “The Gentle Giant”, passed away Sunday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. Selmon was 56.
The family released a statement this evening "thanking the community for their thoughts and prayers" and noted Selmon was surrounded by his family when he died.
The former Oklahoma Sooner earned six straight Pro Bowl nominations from 1979 to 1984, and collected 78.5 quarterback sacks during his career, which ranks first in team history. The 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995, and became the first member of the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor in 2009.
Selmon's number 63 jersey remains the only number officially retired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After his football career, Selmon was involved in numerous charitable organizations, opened a chain of restaurants bearing his name, and served as the University of South Florida’s associate athletic director from 1993-2001, before taking over as the school’s athletic director until he retired in 2004 citing health issues.
The Glazer family released this statement this evening regarding the passing of the Buccaneer great.
"Tampa Bay has lost another giant. This is an incredibly somber day for Buccaneer fans, Sooner fans, and all football fans. Lee Roy's standing as the first Buc in the Hall of Fame surely distinguished him, but his stature off the field as the consummate gentleman put him in another stratosphere. Put simply, he was first class. He was the real deal. We are so blessed to have known this fine man and to have called him one of our own, yet so sad to have lost him so soon. Our hearts go out to the Selmon family at this time of their loss."
PewterReport.com sends its sincerest condolences to the Selmon family.