Official cause of death is unknown and funeral services are pending.
Gaddis, who after football worked in the insurance business in
Gaddis is remembered for being friendly and upbeat, but was a terror on the field when healthy. He rushed for 2,622 yards in three college seasons -- 1988, 1989 and 1991 -- that were shortened by injury.
He didn't play in 1990 while rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered during OU-Texas in 1989. Ultimately, it kept him from becoming the player OU coaches envisioned when they feverishly tried to sway him to Norman.
Former OU assistant
"One afternoon I get a phone call from a guy I went to school with at Midwest City," Proctor said. "He said 'Coach, you need to get over here.
"The game's over," Proctor said, "I go to his coach and said, 'You're going to take him right home?' And he was and I said good. I said, just tell him that I'll be at his house when he get home. I check into a motel down there about a mile away from his house. I go to his house and his mom opens the door and starts talking and visiting. We're all talking and about 20-30 minutes later he comes in and we're sitting there, she'd fixed us some bologna sandwiches and Kool-Aid and we talked until 11 o' clock."
Proctor left, but not before promising another meeting the following day -- signing day. He arranged to come by around
"I didn't want that
Proctor feared the worst, that Gaddis had blown off their meeting.
"I'm thinking, God almighty, Switzer will fire my ass if I've let him slip out the door. I'm thinking
"He was a kid, great player and just a great guy. I talked to him just 4-5 months ago. He'd been a guy who hadn't been around the program a lot. Other than that, a great kid, a great person, great family."
In '88, Gaddis nearly matched
In '89, Gaddis rushed for 829 yards and 10 TDs in just a little more than five games, until the torn ACL against Texas set off a string of injuries that abbreviated his playing days.
He was drafted by the
OU co-offensive coordinator
"Mike was just one of the nicest guys. Always had a smile on his face. Just real easy, relaxed. He called me 'Quarterback.' That was my name," Gundy said. "You hear, 'Quarterback,' you turn around and there was Mike, just had a smile on his face. A great teammate. A great person and gonna be missed."
As for on the playing field, Gundy saw what others did.
"First thing that comes to mind when you think of Mike as a player is smooth," Gundy said. "Here's a guy that was 6-2, 225 pounds that could run a 4.4. He had great hands. He had unbelievable talent. As much talent as we've had around at this place, the great running backs in history we've had here, his talent matched anybody's."
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