TORONTO — Zac Henderson, a hard-hitting defensive back who played four seasons in the CFL, has died. He was 64.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats alumni announced Tuesday that Henderson died at his home in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
The six-foot-one,190-pound Henderson spent two seasons each with Hamilton (1978-79) and the Toronto Arognauts (1982-83). He also played 12 games with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1980. He was a versatile performer, often acting as his team's punter.
Henderson's best CFL season was 1982 with Toronto when he registered four interceptions and was named a league all-star. He was also a finalist to Edmonton's James (Quick) Parker as the league's top defensive player.
Toronto lost to Edmonton in the Grey Cup game, the Eskimos' fifth straight CFL championship. Henderson didn't play in the contest due to a knee injury.
Henderson finished his CFL career with Toronto in 1983, playing just one game as the Argos went on to win the Grey Cup.
Before joining the professional ranks, Henderson enjoyed a stellar career at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a four-year starter. Henderson was also a two-time All-American (1976-77).
Henderson had a then-school record of seven interceptions in 1977. He was a three-time All-Big Eight selection and helped Oklahoma win American collegiate titles in 1974 and ’75.
Henderson started all but the season opener as a true freshman on Oklahoma's unbeaten '74 national championship squad. He was the first full-time true freshman starter after the NCAA reinstated freshman eligibility in 1972.
He was named American college football's top defensive back in 1977 and was a unanimous all-American as a senior. Despite that, Henderson was bypassed in the NFL draft.
Henderson had 15 career interceptions, which still is tied for fourth all-time in school history. He remains the Sooners all-time leading tackler among defensive backs with 299.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2020.
The Canadian Press