OXFORD, Miss. (WJTV) – A legendary Ole Miss football player has died.

Leaders with the University of Mississippi announced Bill Ray Adams died on June 1, 2023. He was 84.

Adams distinguished himself as a fullback on three of legendary coach Johnny Vaught’s best Ole Miss teams from 1959 to 1961. Adams, who also played left corner on defense, was a three-year letterman at Ole Miss and earned first-team All-America and All-SEC honors during his 1961 senior season.

During his three varsity seasons, the Rebels had a record of 29-3-1. In 1959, Ole Miss was 10-1 with a win over LSU in the Sugar Bowl. In 1960, the Rebels were SEC champions and finished 10-0-1, including a 14-6 win over the Rice Owls. After the 1959 and 1960 seasons, Ole Miss was named national champions by various rating systems. The 1960 team was awarded the Grantland Rice trophy for being named National Champions by the Football Writers Association of America. The Rebels were 9-2 in 1961 and played Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Adams was a member of the 1959 SEC Team of the Decade.

Adams’ career ended when he was injured in an automobile accident after attending a Jackson Touchdown Club meeting where he had received the Most Valuable Player award. He was unable to play for the Rebels in the Cotton Bowl or in the Senior Bowl and the Coaches All-American Game.

Adams was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1962 National Football League draft. He was also drafted by the American Football League’s Houston Oilers, but with injuries suffered in the auto accident, he was unable to continue his football career after college.

Funeral arrangements for Adams have not been announced.