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.