Whatever Happened To Jamelle Holieway?

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Whatever happened to Jamelle Holieway?
Updated on May 20, 2012 MC7 more 71-yard pass play by Holieway vs. the Cornhuskers
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... shopping street in Hong Kong. Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo and ChanelTony Casillas Autographed Football – 1985 Oklahoma Sooners OU Super Bowl – Autographed Footballs Buy Now One in all the best college quarterbacks of all time
Growing up in the center of Sooner country, I remember idolizing just a few football players: Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys, and Jamelle Holieway, who quarterbacked the University of Oklahoma to the National Championship on the Orange Bowl in 1986 (based on Wikipedia, the only true freshman to have ever done so — he still holds this distinction) and to a different Orange Bowl win in 1987 (though it was not the championship game that year). To get some idea of Holieway’s talent: he had taken over in his freshman season for the injured sophomore starter Troy Aikman, who eventually figured he would never be able to get his starting job back vs. Holieway, and transferred to UCLA (eventually having a Hall of Fame career as quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, winning the Super Bowl 3 times including once as the MVP).

Holieway was a singular quarterback in his ability to run or throw the ball with equal ease, as his career stats show. In 39 games, he had 2,713 yards rushing and a pair of,430 yards passing for a combined 5,143 yards of total offense — averaging over 131 yards/game. He was the first quarterback I am aware of within the Michael Vick style, where his pure athleticism and the threat that the quarterback would suddenly turn right into a running back completely changed the sport for the defense. In looking on the history, it appears he paid the worth for this scrambling ability — a couple of leg injuries in his junior and senior seasons hampered the tail end of his college career, and possibly factored into limited success in the professionals, with the Oakland Raiders from 1989-1990, and the CFL’s BC Lions from 1991-1992.

Finding info on his life after the Sooners is difficult; many sources mispell his name “Holloway” instead of “Holieway,” and there’s just not so much info on the web from those pre-www days. However, it looks like he has worked as a sales rep for an insurance company in Oklahoma — and unfortunately has been arrested multiple times: in Eufaula, OK in 2007 on marijuana possession, (and possibly DUI since he was apparently driving and smoking on the time), November 2008 in Pontotoc County, OK for driving on a suspended license, and in 2009 in McAlester, OK for petty larceny and outstanding fines and warrants.

The transgressions of the Sooner program at large under Barry Switzer were exposed in a February 1989 article in Sports Illustrated, but it surely doesn’t mention Holieway specifically, who had played his last game by this point (the Citrus Bowl on January 2nd, 1989) — it focuses way more on his successor, Charles Thompson, who had just been arrested and was eventually convicted for selling cocaine.

No matter how his life has gone in the days since his Sooner glory, Jamelle Holieway should always be remembered as one in every of the best college quarterbacks of all time.

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sendingE…with no D 13 months ago

Colts 72…Glad we never had to face Holieway at QB…only Ferragamo…and he was a handful…

tank 2 years ago

Banning high great, he was from the low lows ecc 190’s. ‘Ms. Crooks favorite guy.

Sean Starkey 2 years ago

Jamelle was an amazimg college player. I use his highlight film to inspire a young man that plays on an adult semi pro team that i coach within the bay area. People say he cant play QB…he is from los Angeles like Jamelle and about the same size..well im gona but him in the choice bone and i formation and see what people think then.

He is gone be Jamelle part II on this level 😀 😀

R.D.Baker 3 years ago

That great year in ’85 I had just moved to the D.C. area after highschool.Having spent a lifetime proudly celebrating any accomplishment the Sooners had I so needed that team so as to feel my ties were close,being so far from home.Just to see Coach Switzer in interviews describing this remarkablr young man was awe inspiring.The look in his eyes waxing lyrically about Holloway as only Coach Switzer does still thrills me as if it were yesterday.The good Lord not gining any

Dr. Bob 3 years ago

Last evening Jamelle came and spoke to a bunch of our young graduating seniors in Konawa, OK. He has, probably after the shoplifting incident, turned his life over to God, and is working hard to put his past behind him. He freely admitted to creating numerous bad decisions, and asked the young people to not make the mistakes he had made. He’s working today to present time to young people through sports camps, and speaking to youth groups about his life in an effort to share his past and to try to make their lives better than he made his. He has a lovely young wife who assists him and an attractive young son. I wish him much success.

Pharoah 5 years ago

Jamie was the very best. Hands down. It’s a shame he did not get a good shot in the professionals. He’s atleast Vicks equal if not better.

Javier 5 years ago

I played with Jamelle back in 1997 here in Spain where I live. For some reason that I do not know, he played some games with a total amateur team (Panteras de Madrid). we played one European Cup Match against the Hamburg Blue Devils, and our coach was James Brooks (former Bengals running back). It was a very nice experience playing football with Jamelle and James! I wish him the most effective!

arnie 5 years ago

He was by far one of the best wishbone quarterback every to play the game

john 5 years ago

To me, he’s more famous than Brian bosworth. I personally think if he could have gone pro, he would have been the most effective. You are awesome Jamelle.

Eddie M 6 years ago

I met Mr Holieway at a little bit league baseball game he was very open to speaking and mentoring the kids on the team, which lots of professional athletes would not take a minute of their time to do! He spent all day with the team and never asked for anything in return! Not many would do the same, so he might need problems but who would not thanks Mr Holieway for you are time and professionalism on and off the sector!!!!!

cornhusker joe 7 years ago

i agree, jamelle holieway is certainly one of the best, most exciting college players of all time. unbelieveable talent, courage and decision making. GO BIG RED!

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Jere Jimerson 7 years ago

If you are in search of former OU football greats, go to our website for our new certainly one of a form magazine, “Former Sooner Greats – Where Are They Now?

Larry Scotet 8 years ago

He was arrested yesterday in McAlister, OK, for shoplifting at Walmart. Classy

Phaktor 8 years ago


Lil Phil 8 years ago

Jamelle is a personal friend of mie and he is currently living in Mcalster, OK, where he works for a home health care business, he is married to a very nice lady her name is Brandi. He attends most of the Oklahoma home games where occasionally you will catch him signing autographs for sooner fans and talking trash to the opposing teams fans. Jamelle continues to be a bigger than life image at Oklahoma, I’ve seen grown men loose their minds over meeting Jamelle. Just thought I’d help with some info.

Susan 8 years ago

Just FYI Jamelle was in Tulsa today (12-12-08) at the Bob Hurley Ford auto dealership. He seems well and happy………….has a baby due in March. His biggest concern was for his 14 year old autistic son who lives in California. He’s to have surgery which is able to enable him to talk. Please pray that every one goes well.

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