Hello, Sooner Nation! There are only four days to go before real football returns to Owen Field. For today’s edition in our countdown to kickoff, we are taking a look back at the four coaches to win over 100 games each for the Oklahoma Sooners, which is more than any other school has.
The first of these coaching legends is Bennie Owen. Coach Owen was a coach through and through. In fact, Coach Owen also coached basketball and baseball on top of football at the University of Oklahoma. From 1905 to 1926, Bennie Owen won 122 games and three conference titles. To honor Coach Owen, the football field was named after him.
The second coach in OU history to reach the 100-win mark was Bud Wilkinson. Coach Wilkinson was named head coach and athletic director for Oklahoma in 1947, and he is known for many football feats, such as developing the popular practice method known as the Oklahoma Drill, and is even credited with the ‘Play Like A Champion Today’ sign that other schools have since adopted. However, what Bud is most known for is winning. Coach Wilkinson won 145 games, three national titles, and 14 conference titles. From 1953-57, coach Wilkinson helped lead OU to the all-time greatest winning streak at 47 wins, a record that appears poised to stand the test of time.
The third coach to reach the 100-win mark was The King himself, Barry Switzer. Switzer became the head coach for OU in 1973. Like Coach Wilkinson, Coach Switzer also won three national championships. He also won 12 conference titles and a whopping 157 games overall. His fun personality and superior confidence in his football prowess is what stood out to those who were around him.
And last but certainly not least, the fourth coach to reach the 100-win milestone, and the all-time winningest head coach at the University of Oklahoma is Bob Stoops. Coach Stoops first arrived in Norman in 1999. Since OU was his first and only head coaching position, OU football and Coach Stoops have been practically synonymous with each other. With a final total of 190 wins, along with a national championship and 10 conference crowns, Bob Stoops is a sure thing when it comes time to induct him into the College Football Hall of Fame. For his entire tenure, Coach Stoops was as consistent as they come. There may never be a more selfless man at the top of OU football, and we are all truly better for having him lead us for 18 years.
Going into the 2017 season, we are embarking on a new era of coaching with Lincoln Riley as our new head man. Will he be the next Owen, Wilkinson, Switzer or Stoops? Only time will tell, but there’s reason for optimism.