FanPost

Sooner Legends: Bennie Owen

Sooner Legends - Coaches
A page we built about Bennie Owen figured I would share it here with some Sooners fans that would appreciate it.  

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 coaches to win 100 games, no other college program has more than three coaches that have reached that mark.

Owen has been credited with developing the three point stance though few know if that is actually true or a crude joke based on the fact that he coached with only one arm for most of his career after losing his right arm in a hunting accident in his third season as the head football coach at OU, 1908.

He also took over as basketball coach that same year and successfully coached both football and basketball until 1921 and remained as the football coach until 1926. thus 13 and 21 seasons, respectively. As, a basketball coach he went 113 and 49 posting two undefeated seasons.


Owen met football greatness early, first playing for Fielding Yost at Kansas in 1899 and then joining Yost's coaching staff in Michigan and being part of Yost's point-a-minute squads in 1901 and 1902 where Michigan scored over 600 points in both seasons.

After beating OU in 1903 and 1904 as the head coach at Bethany College in Kansas he was hired as the OU coach in 1905.  Owen would often get angry at his players and join scrimages as a player to amp up the intensity.

Owen changed the culture at OU immediately going 7-2 his first year and OU and had two undefeated seasons in 1915 and 1918 winning the conference championship in the now defunct Southwest Conference in its inaugural season and 1915. He also lead the Sooners to a Missouri Valley Conference championship and an undefeated season in 1920.

It was a different Athletic culture at OU pre-Bud Wilkinson and Owen often had to fight with budget constraints even being fired in 1908 for making too much ($3,500) by the state legislature before being reinstated due to politicking by the  university president. 

He countered OU's lack of budget by having week-long road trips where his teams would play three games in the same week.


Bennie Owen Records by Year

 

Records by Opponent

 
 
Year

Team

WinLossTiePct.PFPADelta

1905

Oklahoma

7

2

0

0.77778

229

55

174

1906

Oklahoma

5

2

2

0.66667

124

36

88

1907

Oklahoma

4

4

0

0.50000

181

75

106

1908

Oklahoma

8

1

1

0.85000

272

35

237

1909

Oklahoma

6

4

0

0.60000

203

107

96

1910

Oklahoma

4

2

1

0.64286

163

31

132

1911

Oklahoma

8

0

0

1.00000

282

15

267

1912

Oklahoma

5

4

0

0.55556

197

80

117

1913

Oklahoma

6

2

0

0.75000

323

44

279

1914

Oklahoma

9

1

1

0.86364

440

96

344

1915

Oklahoma

10

0

0

1.00000

370

54

316

1916

Oklahoma

6

5

0

0.54545

472

115

357

1917

Oklahoma

6

4

1

0.59091

451

103

348

1918

Oklahoma

6

0

0

1.00000

278

7

271

1919

Oklahoma

5

2

3

0.65000

275

63

212

1920

Oklahoma

6

0

1

0.92857

176

51

125

1921

Oklahoma

5

3

0

0.62500

127

102

25

1922

Oklahoma

2

3

3

0.43750

66

114

-48

1923

Oklahoma

3

5

0

0.37500

144

111

33

1924

Oklahoma

2

5

1

0.31250

28

80

-52

1925

Oklahoma

4

3

1

0.56250

93

44

49

1926

Oklahoma

5

2

1

0.68750

137

52

85

 

Totals

122 54 16 0.67708 5031 1470 3561

His overall record with OU was 122-54-16. Giving him a winning percentage .677. His teams scored 5031 points and only allowed 1470. Owen is a big reason why OU is the highest scoring football program of all time and installed the offensive mentality that has been a staple of OU athletics since his departure.  He was the first coach to bring the forward pass to the south-west portion of the country. 

Of the big four OU coaches, Owen is the only one to not win a national championship though he had three undefeated season in 1915, 1918 and 1920. but do to regional Bias teams from the South, especially the Southwest were seldom considered for a NC which was much more based on polls then than even now. 

 



Bennie Owen is the father of OU atheletics and is the foundation for the great programs is both sports.

Bennie Owen was a charter member of the College Football Hall of fame when it opened in 1951.

FanPost are for the voice of the fan and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Crimson and Cream Machine administrators.

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