Most Cowboys fans have taken in a game or two at Boone Pickens Stadium and have cheered to the rhythm of hundreds of banging paddles. But only real fans know the full history of the Bedlam Series or can name all the football stars who went on to become Hall of Fame players. 100 Things Oklahoma State Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die is the ultimate resource for true fans of the Cowboys. Whether you're a diehard from the days of Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas, or whether you're a more recent supporter, these are the 100 things every fan needs to know and do in their lifetime. Experienced sportswriter Robert Allen has collected every essential piece of Oklahoma State knowledge and trivia, as well as must-do activities, and ranks them all from 1 to 100, providing an entertaining and easy-to-follow checklist as you progress on your way to fan superstardom.
About the Author
Robert Allen is the sideline voice of the Cowboy Radio Network, hosts "Robert Allen & Friends" on Triple Play Sports Radio and covers Oklahoma State sports for Go Pokes. A graduate of OSU, Allen co-authored More Than a Championship: The 2011 Oklahoma State Cowboys with coach Mike Gundy. He and his wife, Lynne, have two kids (Zach & Katy) and live in Edmond, Oklahoma.
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Outside of schools in California, Oklahoma State has more NCAA National Championships than any other Division I college or university. Oklahoma State at one time was the overall leader in NCAA championships, but the program cannot match the number of sports offered by schools on the West Coast and across the country. Oklahoma State's athletic budget (based on USA Today 2014–15 financial figures) is the second lowest of the schools ranking in the top 10 all-time in NCAA championship wins.
Oklahoma State has won 52 NCAA championships, which ranks fourth all-time as of 2017. The Cowboys have claimed all 52 of those championships; the school is still looking for its first national championship in an NCAA-accredited women's sport. Once dubbed the Princeton of the Plains, Oklahoma State has more than held up its end of the bargain when it comes to collegiate athletics, as the school has maximized its success based on how much has been spent over the years on athletics.
The Oklahoma State breakdown of championships is as follows: 34 in wrestling, 10 in golf, four in men's cross country, two in basketball, one in football, and one in baseball.
Below is an interesting chart featuring the top 10 schools with NCAA Division I championships won, the number of sports they offer, and their annual athletic expenditures based on the figures published by USA Today for the 2014–15 academic year.
Edward C. Gallagher
Former Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton — who, by the way, was a pretty good basketball player before he moved into coaching the sport — once said that a good coach could coach any sport. The philosophy of coaching can be the same for any sport; the subject and technique are what differ.
One of the greatest coaches in the history of college athletics and of wrestling didn't actually wrestle. Edward C. Gallagher was never involved in amateur wrestling in his athletic career, yet, when he was done after 23 years as Oklahoma A&M's wrestling coach, Gallagher had a record of 138 wins, just five losses, and four ties.
Gallagher's teams won 11 NCAA team championships. He coached 32 individual national champions, and the Aggies also won six AAU team championships.
How does a man who never wrestled competitively coach that much success?
A native of Perth, Kansas, Gallagher's parents had their family in Oklahoma, which allowed Gallagher to attend Oklahoma A&M College, a land-grant university. He was an outstanding athlete, a track star who once was said to have run a 100-yard dash in 9.8 seconds in a Southwest Conference meet. Gallagher had the longest run from scrimmage in school history — 99 yards in 1908 against Kansas State. He was the captain of the track and football teams at Oklahoma A&M and the senior class president. Gallagher was awarded a degree in engineering, which would later prove to be very important.
He was so impressive that he stayed on after graduation as the school's track coach for four years. Gallagher married and started a family, having six children: three boys and three girls. Then Baker College came calling as Gallagher coached football, basketball, baseball, and track. After two years at Baker, Oklahoma A&M brought Gallagher back as its athletic director. His return is considered the launching point for the school into big-time college athletics.
At the time, Oklahoma A&M had no wrestling program. The first matches were more like exhibitions, and Gallagher admitted he had no idea how to coach the sport. The school's early champions won on their pure physical ability. The coach called on his engineering training and his coaching gene to put together a series of successful techniques and moves. Gallagher became enthralled with the sport and went on to write a book, Amateur Wrestling, which became somewhat of a textbook on the sport. His second book, titled simply Wrestling, documented more than 400 moves and holds that he knew and developed. Gallagher expected his wrestlers to know at least 200 of these. His coaching blended training on toughness and competition with technique and leverage, as well as psychology. Gallagher coached on positives and positive thinking.
His saying, which is mounted over the training room in the building that bears his name, Gallagher-Iba Arena, says it all:
If you do not have to sacrifice, then you will not care whether you win or not.
Gallagher may never have wrestled himself, but he trained so many great champions not only collegiately, but also in the Olympic Games. He trained 17 Olympians, including gold medal winners Jack VanBebber and Robert Pearce in 1932. In 1936 Gallagher was named the honorary coach of the USA team and in those Berlin Olympics Frank Lewis took the gold, while Ross Flood won silver.
Gallagher had developed Parkinson's disease and it was affecting his health. He resigned as the athletic director at Oklahoma A&M in 1938, but stayed on as the wrestling coach. In 1939, Life magazine devoted three pages to a story on him and called him the "Gibraltar of Grappling." Gallagher died in the summer of 1940, and the funeral was held in Gallagher Hall, the new fieldhouse finished in 1938 that would become Gallagher-Iba Arena.
The New York Times eulogized him as "the Dean of Collegiate Wrestling."
Henry Iba, the "Iron Duke"
If you truly want to know how important an individual is to a community, you should take roll at his funeral or memorial service. For Henry Iba, that came in January of 1993. It was miserable Oklahoma weather with sleet and ice on the roads and snow coming, but attending the service held in Gallagher-Iba Arena were all of the Oklahoma dignitaries, including players Iba had coached like Bob Kurland, Bob Mattick, Eddie Sutton, and so many more. From the coaching community there was Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, who came into Stillwater on a Lear jet that had to be towed after it slid off the runway; Don Haskins of UTEP, who skipped a trip and a game in Hawaii with his team; Norm Stewart, whose plane couldn't land in Stillwater but did in Tulsa, prompting the Missouri coach to rent a car and drive into Stillwater; Gene Keady of Purdue; Lon Kruger, then of Florida; Nolan Richardson of Arkansas; future Kansas head coach (and then- Cowboys assistant coach) Bill Self; and many more.
It was a who's who of basketball. Bob Knight, who had Iba sit on the bench as an honorary coach for Team USA in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, couldn't get there and was as frustrated as he has ever been. Now that's frustrated.
There were media dignitaries in attendance, too, as well as leaders from the world of politics.
Henry Iba is one of the most influential coaches in the history of college athletics. He touched college basketball as firmly as Phog Allen, Adolph Rupp, and John Wooden. Next to James Naismith, who invented the sport, there was no other person out there with as profound and positive effect on the game of basketball as Iba. That was how he was known. Until several years after he was gone, I'd always heard him referred to as "Mr. Iba." To this day, most people in the Oklahoma State and the Stillwater community still refer to him as Mr. Iba.
It was the greatest sportswriter the state of Oklahoma has ever known, Bill Connors, who was chosen to speak at the service, and he eulogized Iba exceptionally well. His words are reprinted every year in the Oklahoma State University Basketball Media Guide:
This is personal. Mr. Henry Iba was the most principled, modest, loyal, gracious, dignified, and considerate man I ever met. It was no contest. Knowing him was the greatest privilege I have experienced in 40 years of reporting on the people who shaped the athletic landscape.
From Tobacco Road to Bloomington, Indiana, from Los Angeles to the U.S. Senate, the old lions and the new lions of basketball said much the same thing while he was alive.
Whether Iba coached them at Oklahoma State or in the Olympics or counseled them at clinics or at his home in retirement, they knew him as John Wooden described him: "Basketball's greatest friend and finest gentleman."
I knew there would come a day when God would say we had enjoyed Mr. Iba long enough and He needed him in another place to install a delay game or improve a defense.
If Iba could hear the tributes, he would surely say, "Cut that foolishness out." Those are the words he used countless times to erring players and to those who praised him in public.
Iba never talked about his accomplishments. Never. He did not talk much about the past or how he became known as the high priest of defense. Even in his 23 years of retirement, he was preoccupied with today and his protégés' next games, not his national championships, not the past. He did not seek the spotlight but he could not avoid it; he was too successful, too influential, too innovative, too involved in landmark events.
Iba was no saint. He was a salty man's man who liked Scotch in moderation and had a wonderful wit that cracked up audiences of cronies on fishing trips or associates on plane flights or players during pregame talks.
He was a tough soul. They did not call him the Iron Duke for nothing. He was the quintessential taskmaster whose passion for discipline had no limit. He could deliver the most searing of tongue lashings during four-hour practices and burn the ears of a referee with whom he disagreed. His booming voice added to his intimidating presence.
But, when a game ended, his game face was put away and the ferocious rival was once again a friend who took legendary opponents like Ray Meyer and Clair Bee to dinner. He was so fair, so supportive, as quick to praise players as he was to reprimand them that he was held with ultimate respect and affection.
There was never a hint of scandal about him in his professional or personal life. Except in the most casual of situations, he always wore a coat and tie in public. His conduct in mixed company was exemplary. His unflagging spirit and concern for others made you feel better for merely being in his presence.
He always ended every telephone conversation by saying, "Thank you for calling." He never seemed to grasp that it was the callers who should have offered thanks.
But Iba did one awful thing: he succeeded in making us think for the longest time that he was not special. Hence, we expect other coaching giants to walk on the same unsullied pedestal and were disappointed when they did not. That was unfair to them. There was only one Henry Payne Iba.
How did he rank as a coach? Coaching giants who competed against him and observed him were as captivated as those with subjective roots to Iba's coaching tree. A favorite assessment of Iba came in a 1991 letter from Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who said:
"Coach Iba, in my estimation, is the greatest coach in the history of the game of basketball. He epitomizes what a coach must do on and off the court, and the manner in which it should be done. Everything he did and continues to do, from the way he handled people to the way he dressed, was an example of how things should be done on this level."
In a guest column in 1987, Bob Knight said he considered Iba to be among the "four or five coaches who made great innovative contributions to basketball. Mr. Iba did it before there was anyone for him to copy. He was the first to run the motion offense. He was the first to incorporate the 'help' principles of zone defenses with man-to-man defense. He opened up the game for the big man."
U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey, who was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team that Iba coached to a gold medal in Tokyo, said in a letter to the coach:
"... More inspiring and more important to me than the basketball instruction were the hints on how to live a more worthwhile life, which were sprinkled throughout practice sessions, team meetings, and casual remarks. Now I understand why men are always proud when they say, 'Mr. Iba was my coach.' So am I."
What endeared Iba to his players was the countless favors he did on their behalf after their eligibility was completed. Whether it was Bob Kurland, superstar of his 1945 and '46 national champions, or the lowliest reserve on one of the losing teams that marred his final years, Iba treated them like sons.
Iba transcended the coaching box. When OSU honored him with a distinguished service award, Mickey Holmes, executive director of the Sugar Bowl, who formerly worked in the Big Eight Conference office, captured the essence of the day when he said, "An institution is honoring its institution."
What made Iba so popular with coaches was his devotion to basketball. In retirement, he worked to improve the game, to encourage coaches with integrity to remain in the profession and to help any coach, regardless of philosophy, who sought a better job or advice or encouragement. More than any of the legends of his generation, Iba was perceived as basketball's godfather; the giant to whom giants bowed.
The surest way to increase turnout at a coaching function was to honor Iba. Sponsors of the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City never attracted more than participating coaches for their promotional golf tournaments until they staged it around a dinner for Iba in 1988. Suddenly, Dean Smith and Bobby Knight flew in.
At a Final Four press conference in 1967, UCLA's Wooden explained why he delayed endorsing a shot clock, even though he favored such legislation. He waited until studies convinced him, Wooden said, "that a shot clock would not hurt Mr. Iba. I would never be a part of anything that hurt Mr. Iba. He is basketball's greatest friend and finest gentleman."
Until failing health grounded him, VIP coaches and obscure coaches flocked to Stillwater to talk shop and brought him to their campuses to critique their teams. They did not go merely to pay their respects.
"I love being around him because he is such a great guy and so much fun," Knight said. "But the main reason I talk basketball with him is that I get so much out of it."
A coach did not need to be a protege or have VIP credentials to enjoy Iba's counsel. Toledo's Larry Gipson had never met Iba when he left high school coaching in Ohio to become an assistant at Tulsa in the mid-80s. Gipson asked and received Iba's permission to come to Stillwater and talk basketball. "He treated me like I was Bobby Knight," Gipson said.
The only thing Iba would not do for coaches who sought his help was — and he told them up front — help them in any competition they might have with OSU.
Oh, how he loved the school whose payroll he graced for 36 years. "Our school," and "our place," he would say of OSU. Anyone who played at OSU, no matter what sport, was in favor with Mr. Iba.
The late Sparky Stallcup, who played for Iba at Maryville (Missouri) and became coach at Missouri, was scolded by Iba when he asked why Iba tried to secure a job for a former player who had lost a job because of unbecoming conduct.
"Why, he went to school at our place," Iba said.
The affection Iba felt for OSU and his class were illustrated when he was asked to speak to a group of freshmen during orientation week in 1949. Iba was at the peak of his career. OSU had been '49 runner-up for the national championship that it won in '45 and '46.
Iba did not mention himself or his team or athletics. Instead, he told the freshmen how fortunate they were to attend college, that they should make the most of their opportunities and to remember their parents by writing them at least once a week.
Even an 18-year-old freshman recognized this was more than a Hall of Fame coach.
Iba was so much more than numbers, but the numbers were impressive. In 41 years as a college basketball coach, 36 of those seasons at Oklahoma A&M and then Oklahoma State, Henry Iba won 767 games and lost 338. His teams won two national championships and were runners-up one other time, and went to four NCAA Final Fours, three NIT Final Fours, eight NCAA Tournaments, and four NIT Tournaments.
Iba coached 12 All-Americans, and five players he coached went on to become Division I head coaches. Fourteen current coaches are second generation on the Iba coaching tree; another six, including Bill Self at Kansas, are third generation. Two more are fourth generation, and two are fifth generation.
Iba was first selected to coach the United States Olympic basketball team in 1964 in Tokyo, and the Americans won the gold medal. He was the first coach to be chosen to coach the team a second time, and in 1968 and despite many college players boycotting the games in protest to the Vietnam War and civil rights the USA won in Mexico City. Two years after he had retired from Oklahoma State, Iba was again chosen to coach the USA team in the 1972 games in Munich. Those games were marred by the terrorist attack on the Israeli team in the Olympic Village. On the court the Americans saw their chance to win taken away by controversial officiating. Russia took advantage of the second controversial call to hit a shot after time had run out to be declared the gold medal winners. The American team chose not to accept their silver medals. It was his greatest coaching disappointment. Later, when serving as an honorary coach and consultant for the 1984 team under Bob Knight, Iba was carried off the floor after winning the gold medal in Los Angeles.
Excerpted from "100 Things Oklahoma State Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die"
Copyright © 2017 Robert Allen.
Excerpted by permission of Triumph Books LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Mike Gundy ix
1 National Championships 1
2 Edward C. Gallagher 2
3 Henry Iba, the "Iron Duke" 4
4 Bob Fenimore, the "Blond Bomber" 13
5 Bob Kurland 17
6 Eddie Sutton 20
7 Barry Sanders and the Heisman 25
8 Mike Holder 29
9 Gary Ward and Decade of Dominance 33
10 Mike Gundy 37
11 John Smith 45
12 Rickie Fowler 49
13 Josh Holliday 52
14 T. Boone Pickens 57
15 Boone Pickens Stadium 60
16 Gallagher-Iba Arena 63
17 Sherman Smith Center 67
18 Allie Reynolds Stadium 68
19 Karsten Creek 71
20 Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center 73
21 Chris' University Spirit 76
22 Hideaway Pizza 79
23 Eskimo Joe's 81
24 Garth Brooks 83
25 Walt Garrison 87
26 Terry Miller 90
27 Thurman Thomas 92
28 Super Bowl Cowboys 94
29 Walk-Ons 96
30 Rob Glass: Gundy's Most Important Hire 98
31 Uniforms 100
32 America's Greatest Homecoming Celebration 103
33 Tailgating 106
34 The Walk 109
35 Pistol Pete 111
36 Paddle People 114
37 Bullet 117
38 Dave Hunziker and "Pistols Firing" 118
39 Cowboys "Ride with the Voice" Larry Reece 122
40 1945 National Football Champions 125
41 1945 Cotton Bowl and 1946 Sugar Bowl 128
42 Jim Lookabaugh 130
43 Neill Armstrong 132
44 Pappy Waldorf 134
45 1958 Bluegrass Bowl 136
46 1974 Fiesta Bowl 137
47 1976 Big Eight Championship and Tangerine Bowl 138
48 Jimmy Johnson 140
49 Pat Jones 143
50 1984 Gator Bowl and First 10-Win Season 146
51 1987 Sun Bowl and Second 10-Win Season 147
52 1988 Holiday Bowl: The High Point under Pat Jones 148
53 2006 Independence Bowl 151
54 2008 Win at Missouri: the "Program Changer" 153
55 Brandon Weeden 155
56 2011 Loss at Iowa State 160
57 2011 Bedlam Football 163
58 2012 Fiesta Bowl vs. Stanford 165
59 Justin Blackmon 168
60 2010 Alamo Bowl 171
61 Will History Repeat Itself with Mason Rudolph and James Washington? 173
62 2016 Alamo Bowl 177
63 The Start of Mason Rudolph and Bedlam 2014 179
64 Dez Bryant 182
65 Dan Bailey 185
66 Rashaun Woods and the Woods Brothers 188
67 Leslie O'Neal 191
68 Hart Lee Dykes 193
69 Remember the Ten 195
70 Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna 198
71 Alma Mater of the Founder of FCA 200
72 Final Fours 202
73 A Byron Houston 205
74 Bryant "Big Country" Reeves 207
75 Desmond Mason 210
76 Tony Allen 211
77 Doug Gottlieb 215
78 The Shooters: Phil Forte and Keiton Page 218
79 Oklahoma State Wrestling Tradition 219
80 Myron Roderick 221
81 Yojiro Uetake Obata 223
82 Tommy Chesbro 224
83 Kenny Monday 226
84 Kendall Cross 227
85 Pat Smith 229
86 Johny Hendricks 230
87 Cowboys Wrestling and MMA 232
88 Oklahoma State Golf Tradition 235
89 Scott Verplank 236
90 Labron Harris 238
91 Michele Smith 239
92 1959 Baseball National Champions 241
93 The Best Pitching Coach in College Baseball and a Father Son Story 243
94 Inky and the Home Run Record 246
95 Robin Ventura and the Streak 248
96 John Farrell and the Red Sox 251
97 Dave Smith's Building Dynasty 253
98 Bedlam 255
99 The Rant 257
100 Underwood Departs Abruptly, Enter Boynton as Basketball Coach 261