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Barry Switzer

Sooner Legends - Coaches

Barry Switzer
Switzer played football at the University of Arkansas. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and after returned to Arkansas as an assistant coach. Following the 1966 season, Switzer moved to the University of Oklahoma as an assistant coach Following the 1966 season, Switzer moved to the University of Oklahoma as an assistant coach under new Head Coach Jim Mackenzie. After Mackenzie died of a heart attack following spring practice of 1967, Switzer continued as an assistant under former University of Houston assistant and new Oklahoma Head Coach Chuck Fairbanks. Switzer quickly made a name for himself by perfecting the Wishbone Offense and developing it into the most prolific rushing offense in college football history. Under Switzer, the Sooners set a NCAA rushing record of 472 yards per game in 1971 and scored over 500 points in 1971 and 1986. When Fairbanks accepted the position of Head Coach of the New England Patriots following the 1972 season, Switzer was the obvious choice to succeed him. Head Coach and good friend Jim Mackenzie. After Mackenzie died of a heart attack following spring practice of 1967, Switzer continued as an assistant under former University of Houston assistant and new Oklahoma Head Coach Chuck Fairbanks.     Switzer became head coach at Oklahoma in 1973, leading the team to undefeated seasons that year (10-0-1) and the next, when the Sooners went 11-0 and won the national championship. They repeated as champs in 1975, winning 11 games against just one defeat. His teams won or shared the Big Eight Conference title every year between 1973 and 1980, included 1978 Heisman winner Billy Sims and played for another championship in 1977, but lost. Oklahoma slumped slightly in the early 1980s, but rebounded with another conference title in 1984, when the Sooners again played for the National Title and lost. They won it the next year, going 11-1 and upsetting top-ranked Penn State in the Orange Bowl. The next two years, they posted the same record but finished ranked third in the final polls both seasons. Switzer resigned from his coaching position at Oklahoma early in 1989, with a career record of 157-29-4. His winning percentage of .837 is fourth-best all-time, and he posted remarkable records against several famous contemporaries, going 3-0-1 against Darrell Royal, 12-5 against Tom Osborne, 5-3 against Jimmy Johnson, 2-0 against Bobby Bowden and 1-0 against Joe Paterno and Woody Hayes. he is one of four coaches to win over 100 games at the University of Oklahoma. No other college football program has more than three coaches accomplish that feat. Switzer was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Articles about Switzer form the SI Vault STARS OF THE AUTHOR GAME September 24, 1990 | Ron Fimrite Ex-coaches Switzer and Landry still vie to be No. 1     BARRY SWITZER WRITES ABOUT HIMSELF September 24, 1990 | Rick Telander "Mea culpa" is plainly not the thrust of these memoirs by the controversial coach     SCORECARD September 25, 1989 | Edited by Craig Neff       SCORECARD July 03, 1989 | Edited by Steve Wulf BLIND TO THE DANGER     SCORECARD Letters March 27, 1989 | Edited by Gay Flood DISGRACE Your three-part special report on lawlessness in college athletics (Feb. 27) hit the nail on the head. The folks at the NCAA ought to realize the gravity of the situation and take drastic action. College...     YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW February 27, 1989 | Rick Telander       BOOMED, A SOONER November 28, 1988 Going into Saturday's game against Oklahoma in Norman, Nebraska had beaten the Sooners only four times in the past 12 seasons. But in a howling downpour of rain, sleet and snow, the Huskers gutted out a 7-3 victory...     The Battle To Be Top Gun November 14, 1988 | Bruce Newman       RAISING 'CANES January 11, 1988 | Rick Telander     SCORECARD January 11, 1988 | Edited by Robert Sullivan THE VIEW FROM THE BENCH     BOOM AND DOOM November 30, 1987 | Rick Telander       THE NOT-SO BIG EIGHT November 16, 1987 | Douglas S. Looney       ANOTHER BORDER WAR October 19, 1987 | Rick Telander       1 OKLAHOMA August 31, 1987 | John Garrity In the year 1 A.B. (After Bosworth) of the new millennium, the Sooner wagon is so loaded with talent that the Boz—the All-America linebacker and Dada artist whose greatest canvas was himself—has become a memory as... The Sooners Struck Later December 01, 1986 | Jaime Diaz Paced by its splendid but seldom-thrown-to tight end, Keith Jackson, Oklahoma got 10 points in the final 1:22 to beat Nebraska in Lincoln     It Only Hurts For A Little While November 24, 1986 | Rick Reilly       COLLEGE FOOTBALL October 13, 1986 | Douglas S. Looney       MIAMI VICE TWICE October 06, 1986 | Rick Reilly   No Doubt About It: Oklahoma's No. 1 January 13, 1986 | Rick Reilly       The Big D Was A Big Deal In Big D October 21, 1985 | Pat Putnam Oklahoma's ferocious defense stopped the Texas attack in its tracks as the Sooners won the annual showdown in Dallas 14-7     THE WEEK October 07, 1985 | Hank Hersch SOUTH     3. Oklahoma September 04, 1985 | John Garrity Was it St. Augustine who said, "Mistakes'll kill ya"? Probably not. Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer probably said it, just after the 1983 season. "We were 8-4 that year," Switzer says. "But we didn't look even that...     THEY SAID IT August 19, 1985 | Edited by Franz Lidz •Barry Switzer, Oklahoma football coach, on why his school has an in-state recruiting edge over Oklahoma State: "OU is easier to spell than OSU."         Sooner or later, it's the Sooners December 03, 1984 | Douglas S. Looney Oklahoma State made it close for a change, but Oklahoma won again     A tie that felt like a triumph October 22, 1984 | Douglas S. Looney After being down and nearly out, Texas got a draw with Oklahoma     14. OKLAHOMA September 05, 1984 | N. Brooks Clark Ah, those lovable Sooners: a 90-yard touchdown one minute, a fumble the next; a problem with grades one week, a minor crime wave the next. Well, the word is out in Norman that after last year's carnival, enough is...     SCORECARD February 20, 1984 | Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum DUBIOUS DISTINCTIONS     A big day for the D December 05, 1983 | Jack McCallum Nebraska remained unbeaten and No. 1 by holding off Oklahoma     The Week October 31, 1983 | N. Brooks Clark       BARRY IT'S 1:30 DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR PLAYERS ARE? October 24, 1983 | Douglas S. Looney       SCORECARD October 24, 1983 | Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum DOING ZIP AT OKLAHOMAIt turns out that before taking a powder altogether last week, Oklahoma Running Back Marcus Dupree had done "Zip, nothing" in the classroom this year, as the Sooners' academic adviser put it...     19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER July 04, 1983 | Edited by Gay Flood SWITZER AND DUPREESir:Having been born and raised in Oklahoma, I was surprised at Douglas S. Looney's article (New Philadelphia Story, June 20) about the "clash of wills" between Oklahoma Football Coach Barry Switzer...     New Philadelphia Story June 20, 1983 | Douglas S. Looney   Nebraska Posts A Real Big Victory December 06, 1982 | John Papanek The Huskers outscored Oklahoma to gain a berth in the Orange Bowl     Back on track with a tailback November 15, 1982 | Ralph Wiley Freshman I Back Marcus Dupree has Oklahoma running once again     THE WEEK October 11, 1982 | Alexander Wolff       THEY SAID IT January 19, 1981 | Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum •Sam Rutigliano, Cleveland Brown coach, who grew up in the same Brooklyn neighborhood as Oakland Raider Managing Partner Al Davis: "He's Mr. Intrigue. He knows the serial number of the Unknown Soldier."     SIMS LIKE OLD TIMES AT NORMAN December 03, 1979 | Douglas S. Looney In his final regular-season game, Billy Sims shredded Nebraska for 247 yards, leading Oklahoma to a win and the Orange Bowl     IT'S THANK GOODNESS FOR GOODSON IN TEXAS October 22, 1979 | Douglas S. Looney       RUNNING FOR THE VOTE September 10, 1979 | John Papanek The race is on: the incumbent, Oklahoma's Billy Sims, who won the 1978 Heisman, vs. the worthy opponent, Charles White, a superb campaigner backed by the No. 1 USC machine     TRYING TO GET THEIR FEET IN THE DOOR August 27, 1979 | Joe Marshall All the glossy statistics and press clippings from college games don't mean a thing when a rookie appears at an NFL training camp, as several record-busting kickers have ruefully discovered during the preseason     OKLAHOMA IS FILLED TO OVERFLOWING October 16, 1978 | Douglas S. Looney       4 Oklahoma September 11, 1978 OFFENSE       WHAT A WAY TO WIND IT UP December 05, 1977 | Douglas S. Looney       SCORECARD October 24, 1977 | Edited by Robert H. Boyle REPORTER     NEVER TOO LATE FOR THE SOONERS October 03, 1977 | John Underwood       19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER August 30, 1976 | Edited by Gay Flood SYMBOLISMSir:Ron Fimrite's article on come-from-behind baseball races (Begging for a Miracle, Aug. 16) was informative and conjured up a lot of "ifs." I got the greatest kick from the two-page color photo of Frank...     BOOMINGEST SOONER OF 'EM ALL August 09, 1976 | Ray Kennedy       Next Week August 02, 1976 The Torch is extinguished at the Olympics' end, but not until more anthems play for victors in boxing, basketball, track and field, archery and yachting events. The staff wraps up the XXI Summer Games.     THEY SAID IT April 05, 1976 | Edited by Robert W. Creamer •Gaius Maecenas, Roman statesman (70-8 B.C.), on the Olympic Games: "Cities should not waste their resources on expenditure for a large number and variety of Games, lest they exhaust themselves in futile exertion and...     OHIO STATE FOLDS, IT'S OKLAHOMA'S POT January 12, 1976 | John Underwood When the Buckeyes gambled with passes and lost to UCLA, the Sooners cashed in to win the national title     You're doin' fine, Oklaaaaaaa November 17, 1975 | Larry Keith Everything was up to date with Kansas; Oklahoma was not O.K.     Smoke through a keyhole October 06, 1975 | Edwin Shrake That's Joe Washington of Oklahoma—just here, now there, hit hard, still moving—a runner who Sooner fans insist is the best in the country     BOWL-BOUND AND BOWLED OVER December 23, 1974 | John Underwood       THE BEST TEAM YOU'LL NEVER SEE November 04, 1974 | Ray Kennedy       CAN ANYBODY CATCH THE BUCKEYES? September 09, 1974 The battle for the 1974 national championship may well resemble a scene from last season's Rose Bowl. As Ohio State's Pete Johnson rumbled 38 yards against USC (right), an array of Trojans trailed in his wake. This...     OKLAHOMANS CALL IT SELMONIZING November 12, 1973 | John Underwood       THEY SAID IT November 12, 1973 | Edited by Robert W. Creamer •Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, after a three-game sequence in which Kansas City lost two and tied one game: "They keep saying balance is a great thing for pro football, but I wonder if I'm going to...   THE WEEK October 11, 1971 | Harold Peterson    

J. Robert ByromWritten on Thursday, 19 February 2009 07:44 by J. Robert Byrom

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Bennie Owen is the grandfather of both the OU football and basketball programs and the football field is still named after him to this day, though the stadium is not. Owen was the first of four OU football...


Switzer played football at the University of Arkansas. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and after...


“We compete, not so much against an opponent, but against ourselves. The real test is this: Did I make my best effort on every play?” Years: 1947-1963
Place of Birth: Minneapolis, MN


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