Former Oklahoma State head football coach Jim Stanley -- who led the Cowboys to one of its biggest upsets in the Bedlam rivalry -- died Thursday morning at his home in Chandler, Arizona following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 77 years old.
Funeral services are pending, but are expected to be next week in Stillwater.
Earlier this month, Oklahoma State players and coaches paid a visit to Stanley, who was hospitalized in Arizona, just a few miles from where the Cowboys defeated Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. Players presented him with an autographed football.
Stanley served two stints in Stillwater as defensive coordinator and later was promoted to head coach at OSU, a position he held from 1973 to 1978.
In six seasons, Stanley's Cowboys went 35-31-and-2. His biggest victory in Stillwater came in 1976, when Oklahoma State went 9-and-3 and tied for first in the Big 8 Conference thanks to a 31-24 upset over fifth-ranked OU.
That victory was OSU's only win over the Sooners in a span from 1967 to 1995.
After his time at Oklahoma State, Stanley went on to have a long career in the pros with the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Oilers of the NFL and as head coach of the Michigan Panthers of the USFL, leading that team to the 1983 USFL title.
He later became the director of pro personnel for the Arizona Cardinals from 1995 to 2007.
Stanley is survived by a wife, Sylvia, and four children.
Oklahoma State Defensive Coordinator Bill Young calls Stanley one of the best defensive minds he has ever been around.
"Jim Stanley is the reason why I have a job in college football," Young said. "He gave me my start. He was the defensive coordinator here at Oklahoma State when I was a player and then he became the head coach. He was an extremely tough individual and very hard-nosed - an unbelievably good football coach. He will be missed."
Stanley was born in Kentucky and went on to play football at Texas A&M under legendary head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Stanley was part of Bryant's "Junction Boys" in College Station and played on the played on the 1956 team that went undefeated and won the Southwest Conference championship.
Channel 8's Chris Lincoln will have more on coach Stanley later today on Tulsa's Channel 8 and KTUL.com.