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Oklahoma Athletes and Sports Leaders

Learn from the oral histories of Oklahoma's most influential athletes, coaches, owners, and other sports leaders and how their legacies shaped Oklahoma.

Learn From These Influential Oklahomans

Allan Trimble

Allan Trimble

Jenks High School Football Coach

Allan Trimble won more state high school football championships in 22 seasons at Jenks than any head coach in Oklahoma history. However, his first state title as a head coach …

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Barry Switzer

Barry Switzer

Football Royalty

Barry Switzer was the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1973-1989. Born in Crossett, Arkansas, on October 5, 1937, Switzer started playing football in the sixth grade …

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Bart Conner

Bart Conner

Gold Medalist American Gymnast

Bart Conner is the most accomplished male gymnast America has ever produced. He is the only American gymnast to win gold medals at every level of national and international competition. …

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Bill Rollings

Bill Rollings

Tulsa Baseball

Professional baseball in Tulsa goes back to 1905, and before then amateur teams represented the city in the early 1890’s. While it had its ups and downs, Tulsa baseball was …

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Bob Barry, Sr.

Bob Barry, Sr.

Sportscaster

He painted pictures with his voice. For more than 50 years Bob Barry was a radio play-by-play announcer and television sports anchor. He was the voice of more major college …

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Bob Kurland

Bob Kurland

Basketball Player

While he was billed as a seven-foot basketball player, Robert Albert “Bob” Kurland admits to being only 6’11”. Linked to Oklahoma State University basketball and famed coach Henry Iba, he …

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Bud Wilkinson

Bud Wilkinson

Football Coach

Charles Burnham “Bud” Wilkinson served as the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1947 to 1963, compiling a record of 145–29–4. His Oklahoma Sooners won three national …

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Dave Whitlock

Dave Whitlock

Fly Fisherman

Dave Whitlock is a world-renowned fly fisherman and contributor of many articles, photos, and illustrations to the world’s top outdoor sports magazines. His first published piece was in Field & …

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David Morgan

David Morgan

Race Car Driver

On March 9, 1967, Tulsa, Oklahoma native David Morgan went to the Corvette Assembly Plant in North St. Louis, Missouri to take delivery of a new Corvette. It was a …

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Eddie Sutton

Eddie Sutton

Basketball Coach

With 36 years of Division 1 coaching experience, Coach Eddie Sutton became the first coach to take four schools to The NCAA tournament. He is one of only eight major …

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Johnny Bench

Johnny Bench

Baseball Player

Johnny Lee Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 7, 1947 and grew up in the small town of Binger, Oklahoma. His childhood dream was to become a …

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Ken Trickey

Ken Trickey

ORU Basketball Coach

After the death of basketball coach Ken Trickey in 2012, the Tulsa World called him “one of the most influential and colorful characters in this state’s basketball history”. He played …

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Marques Haynes

Marques Haynes

Harlem Globetrotter

Widely regarded as the world’s finest ball handler during his 50-plus-year career in basketball spent with the Harlem Globetrotters and the Magicians, Marques Haynes enjoyed international fame as both a …

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Porter Reed

Porter Reed

Baseball Player, Negro League

Muskogee, Oklahoma was a major stop on the Negro League baseball barnstorming circuit. As a child, Porter Reed saw the Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago American Giants, Memphis Red Sox, and …

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Reuben Gant

Reuben Gant

Football Player

Reuben Charles Gant was born on April 12, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Reuben was a standout athlete from an early age, often having to prove his age in baseball with …

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Ted Owens

Ted Owens

Basketball Coach

From surviving the Great Depression and Dust Bowl eras to driving a Model A Ford, hearing and watching news footage of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and serving in the …

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Voices of Sports Legends

Voices of Sports Legends

A collection from Wayne McCombs

Voices of Sports Legends is a collection of events and interviews which sports historian Wayne McCombs has collected and recorded. He has donated this material to the oral history website …

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Warren Spahn

Warren Spahn

Baseball Pitcher

“The greatest game ever pitched” (Milwaukee Braves vs. San Francisco Giants, 1963) was an event that may best describe the baseball story of Warren Spahn. For in that game, playing …

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Dale McNamara

Dale McNamara

Golfer and Coach, TU

Dale McNamara was the first female athelete to win an athletic letter at TU and later founded and coached the TU women's golf team, leading it to dominance.

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