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Bud Wilkinson

Sooner Legends - Coaches

��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: 1947-1963Place of Birth: Minneapolis, MNDate of Birth: 4/23/1916Place of Death: St. Louis, MODate of Death: 2/9/1994   Served in the navy during WW II   Won 47 games in a row - more than any other team in history 6 National Championships, 3 as coach at OU, 3 as Player at Minnesota 14 Conference Championships 6-2 in Bowl games inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969 Charles Burnham Wilkinson, better known as bud, took a mediocre program and turned it into a top program almost immediately, A native of Minnesota, he played with the University of Minnesota, Wilkinson helped lead the Golden Gophers to three consecutive national championships from 1934-36. After his senior season, he led a college all-star team to a 6-0 victory over the defending NFL champion Packers. It was at the conclusion of WW II, Jim Tatum, then OU Coach, invited wilkinson to join his staff as an assistant. One year later, Tatum left Oklahoma to coach at Maryland, and the Wilkinson was named both Head Coach and Athletic Director.  In his first season of 1947, Wilkinson led Oklahoma to a 7-2-1 record and a share of the conference championship, the first of 13 consecutive Big Six/Seven/Eight conference titles. he did not lose his first conference game until his 12th season as head coach in his 79th conference game.  Ultimately, Wilkinson would become one of the most celebrated college coaches of all time. His teams captured national championships in 1950, 1955, and 1956, and amassed a 145-29-4 (82.6%) overall record. He is best known for coaching the team to a record 47 straight wins and had another streak of 31.  His 1955 Team is considered one of the best ever and he is the first college coach ever to have his own TV show.  Head coaching record   YearTeamOverallConferenceStandingBowlCoaches#AP° Oklahoma Sooners (Big Eight Conference) (1947–1963) 1947 Oklahoma 7–2–1 4-0-1 1   — 16 1948 Oklahoma 10–1 5-0 1 W Sugar Bowl — 5 1949 Oklahoma 11–0 5-0 1 W Sugar Bowl — 2 1950 Oklahoma 10–1 6-0 1 L Sugar Bowl 1 1 1951 Oklahoma 8–2 6-0 1   11 10 1952 Oklahoma 8–1–1 5-0-1 1   4 4 1953 Oklahoma 9–1–1 6-0 1 W Orange Bowl 5 4 1954 Oklahoma 10–0 6-0 1   3 3 1955 Oklahoma 11–0 6-0 1 W Orange Bowl 1 1 1956 Oklahoma 10–0 6-0 1   1 1 1957 Oklahoma 10–1 6-0 1 W Orange Bowl 4 4 1958 Oklahoma 10–1 7-0 1 W Orange Bowl 5 5 1959 Oklahoma 7–3 6-1 1   15 15 1960 Oklahoma 3–6–1 2-5     — — 1961 Oklahoma 5–5 4-3     — — 1962 Oklahoma 8–3 7-0 1   7 8 1963 Oklahoma 8–2 6-1     8 9 Total: 145–29–4         National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title #Rankings from final Coaches Poll (started in 1950) of the season.°Rankings from final AP Poll of the season.         Wilkinson reitired from the Sooners after the 1963 season, Wilkinson came out of retirement in 1978, taking the reigns of the NFLs St. Louis Cardinals. In two seasons, he posted a 9-20 record and was fired at the end of the 1979 season. On February 9, 1994, he died of congestive heart failure at age 78. Articles about Bud Wilkinson and his teams from the Sports Illustrated Vault: For the Record September 18, 2006 Announced That he will retire after the final Formula One race of the year, driver Michael Schumacher (above). The 37-year-old German, who has won more F/1 championships (seven) than any other driver, announced his...     Feeding the Monster December 29, 2003 | Barry Switzer The former Sooners coach on his life with the OU football juggernaut     Exposing the seamy side of the great Oklahoma teams and women's tennis September 17, 2001 | Ron Fimrite The Undefeatedby Jim Dent/Thomas Dunne Books, $24.95     MINNESOTA December 27, 1999 1 Bronko NagurskiGreat tackle, great fullback     NFC west September 04, 1995 | Paul Zimmerman If you consider the a dynasty—and I do—then it's time to look at the historical question of why dynasties end. The Packers, the dynasty of the 1930s, were supplanted by the younger and tougher Bears, who ruled until...   No Joke October 17, 1994 | Rick Telander     Scorecard February 21, 1994 | Edited by Jack McCallum     Upstairs Downstairs October 14, 1991 | Alexander Wolff     YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW February 27, 1989 | Rick Telander     19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER December 14, 1981 | Edited By Margaret Sieck BEAR AND BUDSir:In his article on Coach Paul (Bear) Bryant ("I Do Love the Football," Nov. 23), Frank Deford brings another great coach into the picture, Bud Wilkinson, formerly of the Oklahoma Sooners. Deford wrote,...   A Running Debate September 07, 1981 .     SCORECARD December 10, 1979 | Edited by Myra Gelband OPEN INVESTIGATION     NFC East September 04, 1978 | Joe Marshall could win this division playing its reserves, its only weakness being at placekicker. When All-Pro Efren Herrera demanded to renegotiate his contract, Dallas shipped him off to Seattle. But as scout Cornell Green...     THE LEGEND RETURNS TO TURN THEM ON July 31, 1978 | Bruce Newman Prospects for the upcoming season looked dim to the St. Louis Cardinals. Then out of the pages of yesteryear came the whistle blasts of the great Coach Wilkinson     FOOTBALL'S DILEMMA: BOWLS OR PLAYOFFS January 19, 1976 | John Underwood PEOPLE March 11, 1974 | Harold Peterson The Gamekeepers' Dinner at Newport, Shropshire, on April 8 should be a real prize. "Lord Stafford will preside at the dinner," reports the Country Landowner, a normally high-toned British publication, "after which...     OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE October 02, 1972 | John Underwood     PEOPLE January 20, 1969 Bus Mosbacher, the famed racing yachtsman and twice a victorious America's Cup skipper, has been named Presidentelect Richard Nixon's Chief of Protocol. Other sportsmen upon whom Mr. Nixon has called are Bud...     THEY SAID IT October 26, 1964 •Louis E. DePauli, district attorney of Gallup, N. Mex., refusing to act on Internal Revenue Service reports of World Series lottery pools at local bars: "This is a special time of year."     THE MONSTERS AND ME July 27, 1964 | Tommy McDonald FOOTBALL'S WEEK November 25, 1963 | Mervin Hyman THE WEST   19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER October 28, 1963 APES IN THE IVYSirs:Dick Kazmaier hits the spot in his Open Letter to a College President (Oct. 14), but not hard enough. Athletic "scholarships" are awarded and continued primarily for athletic performance of a...     A hundred plays in a hundred-plus degrees October 07, 1963 | Dan Jenkins In the breathless heat of Los Angeles' Coliseum, Oklahoma held on to the ball almost twice as long as USC and soundly thrashed the country's top-ranked team     Next week September 30, 1963 On Anticosti Island a Frenchman named Menier set free 100 pairs of deer in the last years of the 19th century. Today Anticosti affords the best deer hunting in North America.     THE MIDWEST September 23, 1963 | Compiled by Mervin Hyman, Dan Jenkins, Harold Peterson, John Underwood     19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER November 26, 1962 FIT TO BE TIEDSirs:My husband and I agree with Mrs. Richard J. Ross (An Open Letter to Bud Wilkinson, Nov. 12) right down to the last comma. As parents of one who can, one who can't and one who can but won't excel in...     An open letter to Bud Wilkinson: November 12, 1962 Ever since President Kennedy first coined the phrase in these pages (SI, Dec. 26, 1960), the concept of the Soft American has been a matter of national concern. According to the President's last "progress" report...     BUD WILKINSON: THE WHYS AND HOWS OF FITNESS July 16, 1962 | John F. Kennedy/President It would be pleasant if the attainment and maintenance of physical fitness could be pure fun, if good physical condition could be achieved and maintained through infrequent participation in sports and games. Many of...     The Silver All-Americas, 1936-61 December 11, 1961 | Robert Cantwell     SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES December 04, 1961 | Mervin Hyman Army over Navy. The Cadet wounds have had time to heal—all except the one left by two straight losses to Navy. Stiffer defense will win for Army.   SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES October 16, 1961 | Mervin Hyman Penn State over Army. Coming off a battering by Michigan, Army may have the stomach but hardly the talent to handle another bruising opponent.     FACES IN THE CROWD October 16, 1961 Pat Daniels, freshman at Brigham Young University, captured national AAU women's pentathlon at Fort Collins, Colo. She amassed 4,232 points to defeat Defending Champion JoAnn Terry of Tennessee State, but mourned: "I...     19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER August 14, 1961 THE RECORDSirs:Walter Bingham's Assault on the Record (July 31) said something that has needed saying for some time. His realistic attitude is commendable.JOHN C. HENDRICKSONDayton, Ohio     CHALLENGE TO BUD WILKINSON July 31, 1961 | George Munger     A roundup of the sports information of the week April 03, 1961 BASKETBALL—The CLEVELAND PIPERS defeated the Denver Truckers 107-96 to win their first AAU national title in Denver. The New York Tuck Tapers beat the San Francisco Olympic Club 103-75 for third place. Jack Adams,...     MEMO from the publisher October 10, 1960 | Sidney L. James Food has been a sporting proposition to this magazine since the very beginning. In our September 12, 1955 issue, for instance, Joan Flynn Dreyspool visited the home of Bud Wilkinson, the great Oklahoma coach. There...     Events and Discoveries of the Week July 04, 1960 SERMON ON THE MOUNDEvangelist Billy Graham told a Washington, D.C. crowd of 17,000, including Vice-President Nixon: "Mr. Nixon has asked me to pray for the Washington Senators, and I told him I would—if they get two...     SEVEN THAT SHOCKED December 07, 1959 | Kenneth Rudeen Fans were baffled—happily or sadly—by some teams in 1959. But every football miracle has its explanation     19TH HOLE: The readers take over November 02, 1959 WILDLIFE: CONSERVATIONSirs:Mr. Knight states that predator-control campaigns sponsored by the Bureau of Biological Survey have aided the return of the pronghorn (The Comeback of the American Antelope, SI, Oct. 19)....     DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR TEXAS October 19, 1959 | Kenneth Rudeen   A SLIGHT CASE OF MURDER October 05, 1959 | Kenneth Rudeen     ORANGE BOWL December 22, 1958     BATTLES TO BE WON January 20, 1958 | Roy Terrell     ORANGE BOWL December 23, 1957 OKLAHOMA     a+$+x+f+b = INVINCIBILITY November 18, 1957 | Tex Maule AN EARLY SHOW OF FORCE September 30, 1957 Too many white shirts CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD April 29, 1957 •Long Count on ChickensIn Miami last week, an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma took a long look into the future, began negotiations for a 1,000-seat breakfast before the Orange Bowl game. Meanwhile, back in...   February 04, 1957 Gene Sarazen, 54, chunky old pro who was winning tournaments as long ago as 1922, hitched up his familiar knickers, shot record 65 in the first round of PGA seniors championship at Dunedin, Fla. but title went to Al...  EVENTS & DISCOVERIES January 21, 1957 ...AND ANOTHER OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE November 05, 1956 | Jack Olsen All across the nation this week, wherever football fans gather to drink their toasts and work up their devilishly accurate prognostications, kind words of tender solicitude will be spoken on behalf of five teams:...   ...THESE FACES IN THE CROWD... Football: Fourth Week October 22, 1956 | Tex Maule Go! Go! Go! Go! OKLAHOMA 45 TEXAS 0     SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME January 23, 1956     AFTER WATCHING THE GAME AND ANALYZING THE FILMS, SI'S EXPERT EXPLAINS WHY OKLAHOMA IS INDEED NATION'S TOP TEAM January 16, 1956 | Herman Hickman The far-flung spectacle of the bowl games over the New Year weekend, with their drama, triumph and tragedy, tempts me to review them from the vantage point of a theater critic on opening night. In this mood, it might...     OKLAHOMA 20 MARYLAND 6 January 09, 1956 | Jack Roberts The so-called national football championship was getting to be a New Year's Day jinx until Oklahoma put an abrupt stop to such nonsense in the Orange Bowl last Monday. Only once since Texas A&M won in the Sugar Bowl...     ORANGE BOWL December 26, 1955   IN THE SOUTHWEST: OKLAHOMA ON THE WARPATH November 07, 1955 | Frank McCulloch While the unbeatable Sooners continue their march to the Orange Bowl, the Southwest Conference returns to a state of normalcy—utter confusion     19th HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER October 03, 1955 Sirs: Rocky's answer to Moore's "How's he gonna hit me?" (SI, Sept. 19) was as convincing as SI's answer to those of us who for a long time have despaired of the revival of the art of boxing. In 18th- and...     SUBJECT: BUD WILKINSON September 12, 1955 | Joan Flynn Dreyspool     "A REAL NICE MANNER" September 12, 1955 | Joan Flynn Dreyspool "Each kid who plays football has a dream to go to Oklahoma," said Thomas Watson of McAlester, Okla., who played on O.U.'s 1954 freshman team. "Bud Wilkinson is the greatest, the way he works with men. People put out...     MEMO FROM THE PUBLISHER September 05, 1955 | Harry Phillips Over routes as long as 7,000 miles the professional football clubs are now playing their way through the country, game by exhibition game, back to the stadiums in which they will open their regular season in three...   GEORGIA TECH 14 ARKANSAS 6 January 10, 1955 | Bud Wilkinson Bud Wilkinson, in eighth season as head coach at the University of Oklahoma, has led the Sooners to 19 straight victories. At Oklahoma, Wilkinson has always won or tied for the Big Seven title.     FOOTBALL'S FIESTA DAY January 10, 1955 For five hours on New Year's Day, tens of millions of Americans spun their TV dials and saw enough football to qualify them as amateur experts. To offer the professional expert's view, SI sent Coach Red Sanders of...     I TAUGHT BUD WILKINSON TO PLAY FOOTBALL November 08, 1954 | Patty Berg

J. Robert ByromWritten on Sunday, 04 January 2009 07:56 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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