The Miami Post Office will be named the Steve Owens Post Office under legislation introduced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Dan Boren.
H.R. 2191 has been referred to committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, the first in a five-step process.
Introduced bills and resolutions first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate.
“Steve Owens has meant so much to the community of Miami, the University of Oklahoma, and the entire state,” Boren said in a press release. “He has lead an exemplary life of leadership on the field and in the community. He set an example of distinction for so many Oklahomans to emulate.
“I am pleased to have an opportunity to honor him with this legislation.”
“When Dan called, I was pretty much overwhelmed,” Owens said. “I have never felt that Miami really owed me anything.”
Owens has a street named in his honor and there’s a big billboard that notes that Miami is Owens’ hometown. The sign fittingly is located at the intersection of Steve Owens Blvd. and U.S. 69A.
Owens, the 1969 Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Oklahoma, was a 1966 graduate of Miami High School.
He was born in Gore but the Owens family moved to Miami when Steve was 6.
After excelling in three sports at MHS, Owens signed with the University of Oklahoma, where he rewrote the school’s record book.
“Steve Owens has been a hero of mine pretty much my whole life,” Miami mayor Brent Brassfield said. “I admire and respect him more for what he’s done for the community than I did when he carried the football.”
And he did that quite well: he still owns four OU records for his blue-collar efforts — most rushes in a game (55), most rushes in a season (393), most rushes in a career (958) and career touchdowns (57).
His career rushing numbers are 211 more than runner-up Adrian Peterson, now with the Minnesota Vikings.
Owens was the No. 1 pick of the Detroit Lions in the 1970 NFL Draft.
In 1971, he became the first Lion to rush for more than 1,000 yards. He retired in 1975 after a series of knee injuries.
Owens served as director of athletics at Oklahoma from 1996-98.
In 1991, Owens was honored by being named to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and was named the Walter Camp Foundation Alumnus of the Year. He was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor in 1992.
Owens has been involved in a number of civic functions.
He helped establish the Miami Public Schools Enrichment Foundation. He and wife, Barbara, spearheaded a fund-raising effort to help the city after the devastating July 2007 floods.
The Owenses also have thrown their support behind The Thunderbird Clubhouse in Norman, which was established in 1991 to help in the recovery process of adults living with mental illness.
It strikes home hard because their late son Blake suffered from mental illness.
Steve Owens also is on the board of directors of the Heisman Foundation, the Jim Thorpe Foundation and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.