Frank Buncom

Last updated
Frank Buncom
Frank Buncom 1969.jpg
No. 55
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Born:(1939-11-02)November 2, 1939
Shreveport, Louisiana
Died:September 15, 1969(1969-09-15) (aged 29)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school: Susan Miller Dorsey
(Los Angeles, California)
College: USC
AFL draft: 1962  / Round: 6 / Pick: 48
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played-started:96-42
Interceptions:5
Fumble recoveries:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Frank James Buncom Jr. (November 2, 1939 – September 15, 1969) was an American football linebacker in the American Football League (AFL).

Contents

College career

After graduating from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, Buncom attended junior college at East Los Angeles College. He then played college football at the University of Southern California, where he lettered in the 1960 and 1961 seasons. [1]

Professional career

Buncom played for seven seasons in the AFL with the San Diego Chargers (1962-1967) and the Cincinnati Bengals (1968).

He was a three-time AFL All-Star, in 1964, 1965, and 1967.

He was chosen by the Bengals in the 1968 AFL allocation draft for the expansion Bengals. He was a starting outside linebacker for the Bengals during their first-ever season. [2]

Buncom was slated to be a starter for the 1969 Bengals. On the morning of the Bengals' opening game of the 1969 regular season, on September 14, his roommate, Ernie Wright, was awakened to the sound of Buncom calling for him and gasping for breath. Neither Wright nor paramedics could save him. He was 29. The cause of death was determined to be a pulmonary embolism. [3] [4]

He was survived by his wife Sarah, later a principal in the San Diego Unified School District, and seven-week-old son, Frank James Buncom III. His former team, the Chargers, as well as the Bengals, established trust funds for Buncom's son. [5]

When the San Diego Chargers announced their inaugural hall of fame class in 1976, Buncom was one of the four inductees. [6]

Ron Mix, a San Diego attorney and former teammate of Buncom's, said, "I remember Frank as being the best of us, and I'm talking about as a person with high character." [7]

His grandson, Frank Buncom IV, attended St. Augustine High School, where he was an outstanding defensive back as of 2014 being recruited by many Division I programs. [8] [9] [10] On January 28, 2015, he signed to play at Stanford University. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

David Michael Stratton was an American professional football player who was a linebacker for 12 seasons in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). He won two AFL championships with the Buffalo Bills, where he was a six-time AFL All-Star. He was named to the AFL All-Time Second Team.

Lance Dwight Alworth is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) and Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. He played for 11 seasons, from 1962 through 1972, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978. He was the first player inducted whose playing career was principally in the AFL. Alworth is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Larry Little

Lawrence Chatmon Little is an American former professional football player who was an offensive guard in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Bethune–Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He signed with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 1967. After two years in San Diego, he was then traded to the Miami Dolphins where he played for the rest of his career, establishing himself as one of the best offensive guards in the NFL.

The American Football Conference – Western Division or AFC West is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The division comprises the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers.

Ernie Wright

Ernest Henry Wright was an American professional football offensive tackle who played for 13 seasons, from 1960 to 1969 in the American Football League (AFL), and from 1970 to 1972 in the National Football League (NFL).

Robert Bray Mitinger was a professional football player, attorney and civic leader.

In each year of its ten-year existence (1960–1969), numerous sports-news services named their choice for the American Football League's best first-year player. The choices by the major services are shown below.

Al Beauchamp

Alfred Beauchamp is a former professional American football linebacker.

Kevin Spencer is an American football coach.

Mike Goff (American football)

Michael Jason Goff is a former American football guard and coach. He currently serves as a Offensive Line coach at Western Kentucky University. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He played college football at Iowa.

Mike Haluchak is an American football coach. He served as the linebackers coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2009 until 2010.

Virgil R. Carter is a former professional American football quarterback who played in the National Football League and the World Football League from 1967 through 1976.

Dale Livingston

Dale Roger Livingston was an American football kicker and punter who became the starting kicker/punter on the Cincinnati Bengals first team in 1968.

Paul Harvey Robinson is a former professional American football running back for two seasons in the American Football League (AFL) and five seasons in the National Football League (NFL).

Stephen Michael Tensi is a former professional American football quarterback in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He played for the San Diego Chargers (1965–1966) and the Denver Broncos (1967–1970).

Jacque Harold MacKinnon was an American football tight end in the American Football League for the San Diego Chargers. He also was a member of the Oakland Raiders in the National Football League and the Southern California Sun in the World Football League. He played college football at Colgate University.

Frank Edgar Cornish III, generally referred to as Frank Cornish Jr., is a former professional American football player who played defensive tackle for seven seasons for the Chicago Bears, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills. He played in Super Bowl VI with the Dolphins.

Louis "Speedy" Timothy Thomas III was a professional American football wide receiver in the American Football League and the National Football League. He played for the AFL's Cincinnati Bengals (1969) and the NFL's Bengals (1970–1972) and New Orleans Saints (1973–1974).

Frank Wayne Marsh, is a former professional American football defensive back in the American Football League for the San Diego Chargers. He competed in track at Oregon State University.

References