David Lewis, a linebacker who played for the Buccaneers, Chargers and Rams and made the Pro Bowl in 1980, has died at the age of 65.
An All-Pac-10 linebacker at USC, Lewis was chosen by the Buccaneers with the first pick in the second round of the 1977 NFL draft. Although the Bucs were the worst team in football at the time Lewis arrived, he was part of a major turnaround that saw them make the playoffs in 1979.
Lewis was traded to the Chargers in 1982 and finished his career with the Rams in 1983.
After retiring from playing football, Lewis was a coach at Tampa Catholic High School for many years. Former Buccaneers teammate Richard Wood said it was as a high school coach where Lewis left his most lasting legacy.
“I just think of a joyous, happy man who just enjoyed life and did so much for so many — so many — young men and people that he touched in his life,” Wood told the Tampa Bay Times. “He touched so many young men’s lives, and not just guys who played with him like myself.”