Texas football legend Jim Bertelsen passed away this week at the age of 71, according to Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman.
“Legendary Texas running back Jim Bertelsen, who helped lead the Longhorns to three SWC titles and a national championship, has died, several UT sources said,” Bohls said on Friday, via Twitter. “He was 71.”
Bertelsen was a running back for the Longhorns from 1969-71. He totaled 2,510 yards and 33 touchdowns in 30 games at Texas.
Bertelsen was a focal point of the Texas offense under head coach Darrell Royal. The Longhorns back helped Morey’s team win the outright championship in 1969 and a split of the title in 1970.
Legendary Texas running back Jim Bertelsen, who helped lead the Longhorns to three SWC titles and a national championship, has died, several UT sources said. He was 71.
— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) May 7, 2021
After an illustrious career with Texas football, Jim Bertelsen took his talents to the NFL. The Rams selected the Longhorns running back in the second round of the 1972 NFL Draft.
He spent five seasons in the NFL, all with the Los Angeles Rams. Following an impressive rookie season (123 carries for 581 yards and five touchdowns in addition to 331 receiving yards and an additional score), Bertelsen had an even better sophomore campaign.
During the 1973 season, he totaled 1,121 offensive yards and five scores. His contributions that season earned him a Pro-Bowl selection.
Bertelsen finished his NFL career with 2,466 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground in addition to 1,014 yards and two scores through the air.
Bertelsen was a key member of Texas football during several of the program’s best years. His legacy will be remembered.
We send our condolences to the friends and family of Jim Bertelsen during this difficult time.