March 7, 2012
Doug Furnas, a former Tennessee running back in the early 1980s who went on to a lengthy career in professional wrestling, died Friday, March 2, at his home in Tucson, Ariz. He was 52.
Furnas and his younger brother, Mike, both transferred to UT from the junior college ranks at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, near their hometown of Commerce, Okla. Both lettered two seasons, with Doug playing running back and blocking fullback, and Mike offensive guard.
Born Dec. 11, 1959, Doug Furnas played in all 22 regular season games plus two bowl contests during his 1981 and 1982 Tennessee seasons, finishing with a 4.6-yard rushing average on 136 carries for 630 yards. He scored two touchdowns, both on the ground.
While at UT, Furnas also participated in and won a National Collegiate Powerlifting Championship. He still holds records set in 1983 in the squat (881.75 pounds) and deadlift (766 pounds) for the 242-pound weight class. Furnas ended his powerlifting career with 29 world records.
From there, Furnas began a career in professional wrestling. He achieved most of his acclaim in pro wrestling as a member of the tag team Cam-Am Express with his partner, Phil Lafon. Furnas was a five-time All-Japan and All-Asia Tag Team champion, a two-time Universal Wrestling Association Tag Team champion and an Extreme Championship Wrestling World Tag Team champion. He wrestled in the popular World Wrestling Federation from 1996-98.
Furnas excelled as a rodeo participant during his high school days in Oklahoma and, after retiring from pro wrestling, returned to the Miami, Okla., area to raise bucking stock bulls that currently are used in the professional bull-riding ranks. He later started a group home in San Diego for abused teenage boys called Varsity Team Inc.
Furnas had made Tucson his home since 2003.
Visitation is Friday at 6 p.m. Central time at the Commerce (Okla.) High School gym. Services are scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m., also at the Commerce High gym. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Sports Legacy Institute Center for study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In addition, a scholarship fund is being established in Furnas' name to allow a Commerce High graduate to attend Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.
See the complete obituary here.