Former UT fullback Ron Jarvis, 66, dies

Ron Jarvis, a fullback and member of Doug Dickey’s early Tennessee football teams, died Thursday morning in Knoxville after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 66.

Jarvis played for the Vols from 1965-67 on squads that competed in three straight bowl games and won the 1967 SEC championship. Those three teams combined for a 25-6-2 record, with victories in the Bluebonnet and Gator bowls and an appearance in the 1968 Orange Bowl.

Tennessee finished second in the final 1967 Associated Press national poll on the strength of its 9-2 record.

Jarvis became a journeyman fullback at UT after arriving from his home in Rochester, N.Y. Although he never started, Jarvis logged considerable playing time and finished with 41 carries for 132 rushing yards, a 3.2-yard average.

Well respected and loved by his teammates, Jarvis was given the nickname “Hammerhead” for his toughness as a team player. And although Jarvis lived for many years in Honolulu as owner and operator of Mid-Pacific Realty, he maintained constant contact with those same teammates and UT alumni by regularly hosting friends and groups to his home in Hawaii.

Five years ago, Jarvis retired and returned to the Knoxville area.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be handled by Rose Mortuary/Mann Heritage Chapel on Kingston Pike.

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Comments » 4

OwensboroVol writes:

Sad to hear about Ron. He was on the teams which brought pride and enthusiasm back to the Orange. I was at the Alabama games all three years and it was a different Orange the Tide was facing. We finished those 3 games with the Tide 1-1-1. The truth is We should have won all three. In 1967, perhaps the best Tennessee Team I have ever seen, We went to Birmingham and totally dominated the Tide. I remember the article in Sports Illustrated the following week stating that Doug Dickey was going to replace the Bear as the dominate Coach in the South. It was a thrilling time. Thank You Ron for helping to give Me, and all of the Vol Fans, those memories. I am very saddened that your death came at such a early age. I sincerely hope that you are in Heaven talking Football with Coach Neyland, Johnny Butler, Beattie Feathers, and all of the Vol Hero's from years gone by. May God Bless You and Rest in Peace.

wazzya69vol writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Sad to hear about Ron. He was on the teams which brought pride and enthusiasm back to the Orange. I was at the Alabama games all three years and it was a different Orange the Tide was facing. We finished those 3 games with the Tide 1-1-1. The truth is We should have won all three. In 1967, perhaps the best Tennessee Team I have ever seen, We went to Birmingham and totally dominated the Tide. I remember the article in Sports Illustrated the following week stating that Doug Dickey was going to replace the Bear as the dominate Coach in the South. It was a thrilling time. Thank You Ron for helping to give Me, and all of the Vol Fans, those memories. I am very saddened that your death came at such a early age. I sincerely hope that you are in Heaven talking Football with Coach Neyland, Johnny Butler, Beattie Feathers, and all of the Vol Hero's from years gone by. May God Bless You and Rest in Peace.

Very well stated, thank you. I was there during those years and knew Ron, he always had that sh*t-eating grin on his face, always laughing. I was at the Orange Bowl against Okla when Kremser missed the field goal. A very long drive home. Ron, thanks for being a Vol all the way from Rochester--that took guts. We'll miss you. GBO!

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to cliffjumper50#205931:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes they were. It was a practice, at that time, for some polls to name their National Champion after the regular season, where Tennessee ended up 9-1. (10 game seasons back then) They had lost their first game to UCLA (20-16 I believe) in Los Angles. The best teams that year appear to have been Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Southern Cal. Tennessee and Southern Cal finished the season with 1 loss each and the Sports Writers being as they are gave the first position to Southern Cal based on Tennessee's loss to UCLA which was always held against Tennessee. The fact was Tennessee had a tough first half and a late rally was not enough to overcame the UCLA lead, much as in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma. Some of the other services named Tennessee their National Champion when the season ended and Southern Cal had Lost to Oregon State either the last game of the season or the next to last. Tennessee went on to lose to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl in a game they clearly should have won. They failed to play in the first half and fell behind 19-0 I believe. They came back in the 2nd half with Oklahoma's only score being on a Dewey Warren interception which occurred because We were really pressing to catch up. In this day the kicker nails the field goal and we win 27-26.

jkendall#231407 writes:

RIP Ron - I was at the game in Birmingham - Steve Kiner - Hacksaw Reynolds left it all on the field. The Bear later remarked that Kiner was one of the best LBs he had ever seen. Also, I was at the Orange Bowl game - Missed FG prevented a great comeback victory for UT over the sooners. VFL

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