|Birth: ||Jun. 10, 1933|
|Death: ||Apr. 2, 2013|
College and Professional Football Coach. As head coach of the Oklahoma University Sooners (1967 to 1972), he produced a highly-successful period during the program's history and was know as a practitioner of the "Wishbone-Offense". He guided Oklahoma to five bowl game appearances including three championship titles. He initiated his association with the gridiron as a player at Michigan State University and later launched his lengthy coaching career on the high school level. His break as a coach came when he took an assistant position under the legendary Frank Kush at Arizona State University and in 1962, he went to the University of Houston where he served at the same capacity under another legendary coach Bill Yeoman. He was serving as an assistant at Oklahoma University under Jim Mackenzie when he became their head coach following Mackenzie's sudden death in 1967. During his tenure with Oklahoma, Fairbanks led his teams to three conference titles (1967, 1968 and 1972) and wins in the Orange Bowl (1967) and Sugar Bowl (1971 and 1972). Additionally, the Sooners had appearances in two Bluebonnet Bowl games (1968 and 1970). He departed from Oklahoma following the 1972 season (to become head coach of the New England Patriots) prior to levies placed against the program due to infractions (which left them ineligible to participate in bowl games the next two years) in which Fairbanks would deny any wrongdoing. During his time in the National Football League as head coach of the Patriots (1973 to 1978), New England captured two division titles (1976 and 1978). Once again Fairbanks was involved in controversy when he was suspended by the Patriots for trying to exit his contract when he accepted an offer from the University of Colorado to become their head coach. While at Colorado, he was not to find success as he failed to yield a winning season during his three years there (1979 to 1981). His final coaching stint was as head coach of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League in 1983. After leaving football, he became involved in real estate in California. He died following a battle with brain cancer. (bio by: C.S.)
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: C.S.
Record added: Apr 02, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107725126
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