The BBN sends our deepest condolences to the family of Steve Meilinger. UK announced the saddening news tonight during Mark Stoops’ radio show.
It seems a bit surreal, but also provides a silver lining: this time last year Meilinger was on his way to the College Football Hall of Fame. 62 years after Meilinger quarterbacked Bear Bryant’s Wildcats to a Cotton Bowl victory, Meilinger received Hall of Fame honors as his swan song.
Nobody earned it more than “Mr. Anywhere.” The versatile athlete did everything for the Cats. On offense he played quarterback, end and halfback, while also playing end, linebacker and defensive back for the defense. And don’t forget Special Teams; he was the team’s punter and primary return man on punts and kickoffs. His efforts earned him back-to-back All-American honors in 1952 and ’53.
During last year’s press conference for his induction, Meilinger might have been better at cracking jokes than he was at playing football. There is no doubt – Meilinger will certainly be missed.