Sonny Sixkiller
No. 28, 6, 11     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1951-09-06) September 6, 1951 (age 69)
Place of birth: Tahlequah, Oklahoma, U.S.
Career information
College: Washington
Undrafted in 1973
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Philadelphia Bell ( 1974)
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A

Alex L. "Sonny" Sixkiller[1] (born September 6, 1951) is a former American football player and current sports commentator.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and a member of the Cherokee Nation, Sixkiller's family moved to Ashland in southern Oregon when he was a year old, where his father worked in a lumber mill.[2][3] He attended Ashland High School and was a good student and a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball.

In football, Sixkiller was an All-Southern Oregon Conference selection and a second team All-State selection. He was a back-up at quarterback as a sophomore to senior Gene Willis, who later played at Washington. In basketball, he was an all-conference selection. In baseball, he was a pitcher and an all-conference selection. Sixkiller graduated in 1969 and had hoped to stay in-state and play for Oregon State in Corvallis, but head coach Dee Andros declined to offer him a scholarship, wary of his short stature (5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 171 lb (78 kg)).[2]

University of Washington[edit | edit source]

On the advice of Willis, head coach Jim Owens recruited Sixkiller and offered him a scholarship to the University of Washington in Seattle. Due to his name, he was given uniform number 6. He became the starting quarterback for the Huskies as a sophomore in 1970 and led the Huskies to a 6-4 record, a vast improvement over the 1–9 record in 1969. He completed 186 passes for 2,303 yards and 15 touchdowns in what many called the Year of The Quarterback, in which Jim Plunkett of Stanford passed for 2,715 yards on the year and broke his own conference record. Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy in 1970, beating out Notre Dame's Joe Theismann and Archie Manning of Ole Miss.

Sixkiller missed four games as a senior in 1972 finished his college career with 385 completions for 5,496 yards and 35 touchdowns, and held fifteen school records.[4] The Huskies posted consecutive 8–3 records in 1971 and 1972.[5] The Pac-8 Conference allowed only one team to play in the postseason, the Rose Bowl, until the 1975 season.

Professional football[edit | edit source]

Unselected in the 1973 NFL Draft, Sixkiller had tryouts with the Los Angeles Rams in 1973,[4] and with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League in 1974. He signed with the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League in September 1974,[6] and played with The Hawaiians in 1975,[7] Sixkiller and several other players quit the troubled team late in the season after the players were asked to take a 20% pay cut; the entire league collapsed a week later. He tried out with the San Diego Chargers in 1976.

Sixkiller was also a cast member in the 1974 film The Longest Yard. He is currently an executive for sports marketing firm IMG College, serving his alma mater, the University of Washington.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Soph passer brings hopt to Huskies". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 14. September 19, 1970.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "'Legend of Sonny Sixkiller' latest football ballad". St. Petersburg Times. UPI ((Florida)): p. 2-C. November 14, 1970.,2623012.
  3. Blount, Roy, Jr. (October 4, 1971). "The magic number is Sixkiller". Sports Illustrated: p. 34.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Sonny's bid for Ram job comes to end". Eugene Register-Guard. UPI ((Oregon)): p. B1. August 12, 1973.,2793519.
  5. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Webarchive/data' not found. - Washington Huskies - 1970-74
  6. "Bell inks Huskies' Sixkiller". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 26. September 20, 1974.,1732052.
  7. "Sixkiller talks 'last hurrah'". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press ((Oregon)): p. 3B. December 22, 1975.

External links[edit | edit source]

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