BYU Football Legend Eldon Fortie Passes Away At Age 79

Jan 6, 2021, 9:16 PM | Updated: 9:25 pm
Eldon Fortie - BYU Cougars...
Former BYU tailback Eldon Fortie (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU Athletics announced that legendary Cougar tailback Eldon “The Phantom” Fortie passed away at the age of 79.

Fortie passed away in Mesa, Arizona on Wednesday, January 6.

The former college football star was a native of Salt Lake City, Utah.

He starred at tailback for BYU from 1960-62 and was the program’s first All-America player.

During his senior season, Fortie led the Western Athletic Conference in rushing, total offense, and scoring. F

He was named WAC Offensive Player of the Year and became the first BYU player to be named first-team All-America.

In his three year career in Provo, Fortie ran for 1,532 yards and 17 touchdowns.

As a signal-caller, he also threw for 1,367 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions.

He held BYU’s single-game rushing record until Jamaal Williams’ performance against Toledo in 2016.

Fortie was inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.

His No. 40 jersey was the first jersey ever retired at BYU.

Fortie and his wife Janice were married for 59 years. The two were the parents of five children.

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