Jon Brittenum, 60s star quarterback for University of Arkansas, dies at 78

Star University of Arkansas quarterback Jon Brittenum died Thursday in San Benito, Texas at age 78 after a lengthy illness, Whole Hog Sports reported.

Brittenum was one of the best players who ever played football at U of Arkansas; he lettered in 1963 in a shared QB position, redshirted in 1964, then earned All Conference for his junior and senior years in the starting QB position.

A stellar college career

The star player passed for 1,103 yards with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions for the 1965 team, and it won its first 10 games to extend the school’s winning streak to 22 consecutive games.

The Razorbacks rose to the top spot in the Associated Press top 25 that year.

Brittenum was named to the UA All Decade team for the 1960s.

He was also chosen for the UA Sports Hall of Honor in 2020, but wasn’t inducted until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Coach Frank Boyles called Brittenum “the best passer on the move that I’ve ever seen. He could throw it like a frozen rope on the sprint-out series. He was the perfect passer-runner for the system that we played at the time.”

Despite his stellar college career, Brittenum was not drafted after graduation in 1967 but made the Miami Dolphins practice squad that year.

He also played one season for the San Diego Chargers in 1968.

After his football career ended, said Brittenum ran an investment firm and raised horses. He later worked in the gas industry in Texas until his illness.

He will be missed by many.