TAMPA, Fla. — The athletics complex at USF and a chain of steak houses already bear the name of Lee Roy Selmon, and now, a statue was erected in honor of the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player and USF athletic director. 

  • Heroic size statue erected of Lee Roy Selmon
  • Selmon a former Bucs player, USF Athletic Director
  • Selmon helped change countless lives in the community

The Hillsborough Expressway Authority gave a sneak peak of the Lee Roy Selmon statue on Twitter earlier this week.  It was unveiled Friday morning on the Selmon Greenway, a paved trail almost two miles long that meanders through downtown Tampa under the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. 

In 1976, Selmon was the first player picked in the NFL draft and the first-ever pick for the expansion of Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He played in the NFL for nine seasons, all with the Buccaneers, until a back injury forced him to leave at the end of the 1984 season.  The Bucs retired his number, 63, in 1986, and he was later elected to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.  Selmon was also ranked number 98 on the top 100 greatest players of all time by the NFL Network in 2010. 

Selmon went to serve as the assistant athletic director at the University of South Florida under Paul Griffin, from 1993 to 2001, until Griffin was forced to resign and Selmon took over the department.  During his time as the athletic director, Selmon led the Bulls into the USA Conference and the Big East until health issues caused Selmon to resign in 2004. 

Former Tampa Bay Times Reporter Rick Stroud covered Selmon for years during his time with the Bucs, and said Selmon's work in the community changed countless lives. 

"He did a lot. And he did a lot off the field. We know what he has meant to the community. So if you are looking for a template of what the Bucs organization wanted to be, he was everything both on and off the field," Stroud said. 

Selmon died on September 4, 2011 after suffering a massive stroke two days eariler.