Big 12 News

Former Texas Longhorns RB Jim Bertelsen Dead at 71

NCAA Football: Texas at Texas Tech

Former Texas Longhorns running back Jim Bertelsen has died at the age of 71, according to a report from the Austin American-Statesman. Bertelsen played for Longhorns from 1969-1971 before he was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 1972 NFL Draft.

Bertelsen helped Texas win three Southwest Conference titles and rack up a 30-game winning streak for Texas, one that lasted from the 1968 season through 1970, until they lost the Cotton Bowl to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.


Bertelsen played a critical role for the 1969 Texas team that won the national championship under head coach Darrell Royal, rushing for 740 yards. He then rushed for more than 800 yards the following two seasons, including 1970, when Texas would go on to split a national championship.

For his career, Bertelsen rushed for 2,510 yards, which ranks 14th in program history all-time rushing yards. He also piled up 33 touchdowns over his career. Bertelsen was inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor in 1996.

A cause of Bertelsen’s death has not yet been given.

While clearly not as tragic, this news comes one day after current Texas player, and brother of Sam Ehlinger, Jake Ehlinger, was found dead in Austin.

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