The Oklahoma Sooners are the athletic teams that represent the University of Oklahoma, located in Norman. The 19 men's and women's varsity teams are called the "Sooners", a reference to a nickname given to the early participants in the Land Run of 1889, which opened the Unassigned Lands in the future state of Oklahoma to non-native settlement; the university's athletic teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I in the Big 12 Conference. The university's current athletic director is Joe Castiglione. In 2002, the University of Oklahoma was ranked as the third best college sports program in America by Sports Illustrated; the University of Oklahoma was a charter member of the Southwest Athletic Conference during its formation in 1914. Five years in 1919, OU left the SWC and joined the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association. In 1928, this conference split, OU remained aligned with the teams that formed the Big Six Conference. Over the next 31 years, more schools were added and the conference underwent several name changes, incrementing the number each time up to the Big Eight Conference where it remained until 1996.
Four Texas schools joined with the members of Big Eight to form the current Big 12 Conference. When combined with Blake Griffin's John Wooden Award and Sam Bradford's Heisman Trophy, Oklahoma became the second school to have a top winner in both basketball and football in the same year; the Sooners have been participating in college football since 1895. Calling Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at Owen Field home, the team has won numerous bowl games, 41 conference championships, seven Associated Press National Championships, making the Sooners football program the most decorated in the Big 12. Oklahoma has scored the most points in Division I-A football history despite the fact they have played over 60 fewer games than the second place school on that list. OU has the highest winning percentage of any team since the start of the AP poll in 1936; the Sooners possess 7 national championships in football, with the 1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000 seasons featuring the top team in the Associated Press final poll, the 2000 Bowl Championship Series National Championship as well.
This number is 3rd only to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama Crimson Tide for the most AP titles of any Division I college football team after the end of World War II. In addition to these seven acknowledged national championships there are nine additional years in which the NCAA's official record book recognizes the Sooners as national champions: 1949, 1953, 1957, 1967, 1973, 1978, 1980, 1986, 2003; the University of Oklahoma does not acknowledge these additional "championships", as they were not awarded by the Associated Press, United Press International, USA Today Coaches Poll, or the Bowl Championship Series. Individual success is a major part of Oklahoma football. C. Watts, Keith Jackson and Jammal Brown. More than a dozen Sooner players have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Oklahoma has more Butkus award winners than any other school. Coaches Bennie Owen, Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer have passed through the gameday tunnel for the Sooners, each on his way to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Owen was the first successful coach at OU and was a major advocate of the forward pass, which at the turn of the century was not popular. The playing surface at Oklahoma's Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is popularly known as Owen Field in honor of his long tenure and devotion to the university. Wilkinson left many imprints on the game, such as the 5-2 defense with five linemen and two linebackers; the record of 47 straight wins is regarded as one of the great achievements in sports, a streak, unlikely to be broken. Switzer won three national championships and forged arguably the fiercest rushing offense the Oklahoma wishbone formation, throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Though the end of Switzer's tenure at Oklahoma was marked by controversy and poor player behavior, he is well regarded by both his past players and Sooner fans. During his 16 years as the Sooners' head coach, Switzer led his team to 12 conference championships and never lost more than two games in a row, his winning percentage of.837 stands as the fourth-highest in the history of 1-A football.
Other Hall of Fame coaches whose tenure included stints at the University of Oklahoma are Lawrence "Biff" Jones and Jim Tatum. The Oklahoma Baseball tradition is long and storied, with two National Championships in 1951 and 1994, along with numerous All-Americans, their home field is L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park, named after famed player Dale Mitchell; the current coach is Pete Hughes. The baseball program was a
McCasland Field House
The McCasland Field House is a multi-purpose indoor arena on the University of Oklahoma main campus in Norman, Oklahoma. Home of the basketball Sooners until 1975, the Field House hosts the men's wrestling, women's volleyball, men's gymnastics teams; the Field House is named for T. Howard McCasland, a two-sport star, the captain of the 1916 basketball team and an end for the football team; the facility opened with a basketball game between the Sooners and the University of Kansas Jayhawks on January 13, 1928, which the Sooners won 45-19. When it opened, the facility held over 5,000 people, it is rather unknown, these days on campus, that the Fieldhouse once witnessed concerts by Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley in the 1960s and 1970s. As the campus was constructed around the Field House, parking for fans disappeared and attendance at games dwindled as well. After the Lloyd Noble Center opened in 1975 and the basketball teams moved south to the new facility, the Field House seemed forgotten and neglected.
Plans for refurbishment began in the 1990s along with other campus improvements, fundraising began in earnest in September 1997. In 2005 the initial phase of a $6 million renovation project was completed, including the building's first-ever climate control system, refurbishment of the historic wood floor, new chair-back and retractable seats; the facility had to be rewired, not only to handle the new heating and air-conditioning systems and the new lighting and state-of-the-art sound and video systems, but to bring the building up to current electrical code standards. The next phase of renovations to the Field House, scheduled to be completed by 2012, include locker room upgrades, additions of restrooms and concessions, expansion of the wrestling practice facility from its current 4,500 square feet to more than 8,000 square feet. All of the building's windows, a distinguishing feature of the Field House, will be replaced, along with the roof. Tokyo Olympics Official Howard McCasland Field House information page
National Weather Center
The National Weather Center, on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, is a confederation of federal and academic organizations that work together to better understand events that take place in Earth's atmosphere over a wide range of time and space scales. The NWC partners give equal attention to applying that understanding to the development of improved observation, assimilation and prediction systems; the National Weather Center has expertise in local and regional climate, numerical modeling and weather radar. Members of the NWC work with a wide range of federal and local government agencies to help reduce loss of life and property to hazardous weather, ensure wise use of water resources, enhance agricultural production, they work with private sector partners to develop new applications of weather and regional climate information that provide competitive advantage in the marketplace. The National Weather Center building houses many organizations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Oklahoma and several other organizations outside the NOAA or OU.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research National Severe Storms Laboratory National Weather Service Norman Weather Forecast Office Storm Prediction Center Radar Operations Center Warning Decision Training Division National Centers for Environmental Prediction Storm Prediction Center University of Oklahoma College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences School of Meteorology Advanced Radar Research Center Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability Environmental Verification and Analysis Center/Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative College of Engineering School of Computer Science School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Information TechnologyIntegrated Robust Assured Data Services State of OklahomaOklahoma Climatological Survey Oklahoma Mesonet Oklahoma Water Survey Other Office of Weather Programs and Projects Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium Sasaki Applied Meteorology Research Institute South Central Climate Science Center United States Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers On the afternoon of April 23, 2015, a car rammed through the gates that protect the loading dock on the building's east side.
It drove toward the building before it burst into flames halfway between the gates and the building. Firefighters and a bomb squad were called to the scene. Responders extinguished the fire with no damage done to the building, the body of the driver male, was found inside the car; the University of Oklahoma Police Department stated. The FBI has joined the investigation; the bomb squad did three controlled detonations in the evening following the incident. The intent of the driver, including whether he only meant to hurt himself or others as well, remains unknown. National Weather Center Advanced Radar Research Center Center for Spatial Analysis OU College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences OU School of Meteorology Oklahoma Weather Lab Weather Products Oklahoma Weather Lab Forecast Products OU Department of Geography Oklahoma Mesonet Environmental Verification and Analysis Center Natural Hazards and Disaster Research Integrated Radar Data Services Oklahoma City/Norman National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Oklahoma Climatological Survey OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research Radar Operations Center Warning Decision Training Branch Sasaki Institute
The RUF/NEKS are an all-male spirit squad for the University of Oklahoma. The earliest years of this student organization are not well known; the RUF/NEKS began in the late 1910s. In December 1915 at a basketball game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma A&M a group of football players were yelling and causing a ruckus. An elderly woman shouted, "Sit down and be quiet you roughnecks!" The name was changed to RUF/NEKS. The first leader of the RUF/NEKS was Charles Leslie High, his most famous act was the "Dallas or Bust" campaign, in which he sold tickets at a cheap price to students who wished to go. While this low-cost option is not available anymore, the "Dallas or Bust" tradition continues as part of the modern "Pre-Dally Rally" that occurs to this day. In 1921, the famous red and white paddles were introduced that have since became a tradition of the organization, they are used to intimidate the visiting teams. The next year, they decided to not shave their beard following Sooner losses; this tradition continues to this day.
In 1923, the first official appearance of the RUF/NEKS was at a Friday night pep rally. This event is now known as the "Big Red Rally" which occurred before the start of every football season until the start of the 2010 season when the University did not have enough funding for it; the group, at that time a lot larger than it is today stopped a group of Oklahoma A&M students from raiding the campus. In 1992, another attempt was made to deface the fountains just west of the Bizzell Memorial Library; the OSU marauders were stopped once again by several RUF/NEKS. To this day, RUF/NEKS still stand guard around campus the night before the Bedlam game. During World War II, the RUF/NEKS were disbanded; the group was reformed in 1946. In 1952, the FBI confiscated; these shotguns are used at various times throughout football games including when the team scores, comes out on the field, at the end of every quarter. All but one was returned and that one is on display at the Smithsonian Institution; the most notable job of the RUF/NEKS is the driving of the Sooner Schooner during football games.
This tradition started in 1963. The ponies that pull the Conestoga wagon are taken care of by local Oklahoma residents in Sapulpa, Oklahoma who drive them to Norman. Once there, the ponies are prepped and strapped to the Schooner by the RUF/NEKS. After every OU score, a selected member, called the "Sooner Schooner Driver," drives the Schooner out onto the field to the cheers of 85,000 fans. Starting in the 1980s, each year on the Monday before the Red River Rivalry, the RUF/NEKS apply a fresh coat of paint to the painting in the South Oval that reads "Beat the Hell Out of Texas." Due to construction along the South Oval, this part of the concrete was removed to make way for a new pedestrian walkway. The "Beat the Hell Out of Texas" has been moved on campus between Ellison Hall; every year, over a hundred students apply to join the group but less than a dozen are chosen. The RUF/NEKS are the nation's oldest all-male spirit group of its kind and the 2nd oldest in the world. Of all the traditions that the RUF/NEKS have, this is the most visible.
Every home football game when the team runs onto the field, the RUF/NEKS sprint down the field with OU flags, slide into the goalpost. At the goalpost they say a chant, named "FADADA"; the "FADADA" originated. Throughout their history, the RUF/NEKS have been in their fair share of controversy. In the 1985 Orange Bowl, the Schooner came onto the playing field to celebrate a field goal but received a penalty flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. After the loss of yards resulting from the penalty, the field goal repeat attempt was blocked and the OU football team went on to lose the game. In 1991, the president of the RUF/NEKS along with the president of the RUF/NEK Lil Sis climbed into the elevator shaft of one of the buildings on campus and painted a giant RUF/NEK paddle along the four-story elevator shaft along with a note to future pledges. After it was discovered, the shaft was closed but the painting still remains. In 1993, after a late-game field goal against the University of Colorado, the Schooner took a corner too and tipped over.
The driver, flag-waver, RUF/NEK queen fell out of the Schooner. This made national news, they have had to apologize to head coach Bob Stoops twice: once for knocking him down during a pre-game run down the field at the Independence Bowl, another time for patting him on the butt with their paddles during a pre-game run down the field. In 2004, during a football game between Oklahoma and Nebraska a member of the RUF/NEKS was injured by Darren DeLone, a 320-pound Nebraska football player. DeLone collided with the RUF/NEK, throwing him eight feet back into a brick wall injuring his head and spine and knocking out two teeth. DeLone was charged by the Cleveland County District Attorney's Office with having acted intentionally, but he was acquitted. In 2007, all current RUF/NEKS were banned from participating in official University of Oklahoma sporting events, due to punishment stemming from allegations of hazing of pledges and alcohol abuse. During the 2007 football season alumni stepped in to cover games.
Following this the organization was placed under the Athletic Department control making it an official University spirit organization. RUF/NEKS Official Site
Julian P. Kanter Political Commercial Archive
The Julian P. Kanter Political Commercial Archive at the University of Oklahoma is a depository for political television and radio commercials; the purpose of the archive is to preserve these materials while making them available for research. The Julian P. Kanter Political Commercial Archive has been designated an official project by Save America's Treasures. In 1950, Julian P. Kanter had started work in the television industry. From his time working in television, Kanter observed that most political ads were thrown away after their election cycles had ended because the candidates' campaigns didn't ask for them back, thus in 1956, believing the ads were of historical importance, created a private archive from the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections. By 1983, the University of Oklahoma's communications department made space for the political communication center in Kaufmen Hall. In 1985, the University of Oklahoma and the Smithsonian Institute competed to purchase Kanter's archive, which at this point contained over 25,000 commercials.
The University of Oklahoma won out with a bid of $250,000 in special appropriations. Though money was part of his decision, other reasons that Kanter cited were that he liked the idea of a multi-disciplinary facility working in political communication. Another reason was that the University of Oklahoma offered to make him curator of the archive and made him an adjunct professor of political communication, contributing to education was something he'd always wanted. Mr. Kanter served as the archive's curator for ten years. Kanter past away on December 5, 2011; as of 2016, the archive holds 160,000 commercials and is the most comprehensive collection of political advertisements in the world. The commercials date back to 1950 for television. More than 65% of the archive's total holdings and more than 80% of its film holdings are not found anywhere else. A refrigeration unit, kept at 35 degrees Fahrenheit preserves 5,600 political film ads; the archive contains original masters on many different formats, such as 2-inch videotape, 3/4-inch videotape, audiotape, 1-inch videotape, 16 mm film, 1/2-inch videocassette.
As a result of a grant from Save America's Treasures, the material in the archive has been digitized. A 500-gig hard drive contains ads from two of the presidential campaigns that the archive has had stored; the archive is located in the Political Communication Center in Burton Hall on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. The current curator of the archive is Lisa Henry. Save America's Treasures International Federation of Television Archives The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America's Collections
Lloyd Noble Center
The Lloyd Noble Center is an 11,562-seat multi-purpose arena located in Norman, some 19 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City. It is home to the University of Oklahoma men's and women's basketball teams. Before the construction of the facility, the teams played in the much smaller OU Field House, located on campus near Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. With the success of Sooner basketball in the 1970s and star forward Alvan Adams, demand became sufficient to upgrade to the modern and spacious Lloyd Noble Center, named after an alumnus and former member of the OU Board of Regents who gave OU's first $1 million gift to finance the center; the Sooners sold out the arena during the Billy Tubbs era, with All-American forward Wayman Tisdale leading the high-scoring team to several Big Eight Conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. This led to the popular colloquialism around Norman that Lloyd Noble Center is "the house that Alvan built and Wayman filled." In January 2006, the NBA and the New Orleans Hornets decided to move two games from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge to Oklahoma City due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent low attendance it caused.
The Ford Center in Oklahoma City was unavailable for one of the games against the Sacramento Kings, so it was moved to the Lloyd Noble Center. The center was named after Samuel Lloyd Noble, a Houston oilman and philanthropist, founder of the Noble Corporation and the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation; as a concert venue, the Lloyd Noble Center can hold between 2,848 and 4,516 in a theater set-up, 6,165 for end-stage concerts, 11,238 for center-stage concerts. The arena contains 18,000 square feet of arena floor space as well as 22,534 square feet of concourse space, allowing for trade shows to be held at the arena; the arena stands only 51 feet tall since the majority of the structure is under ground, contains a 40-by-60-foot portable stage and a state-of-the-art scoreboard and video system. There are 12 concession stands at the concourse. Amy Grant recorded half of her live albums, In Concert Volume Two, here. List of NCAA Division I basketball arenas Lloyd Noble Center Official site Lloyd Noble Center at Soonersports.com
Richard L. Van Horn
Richard L. Van Horn was the seventh president of the University of Houston and the 12th president of the University of Oklahoma. Van Horn was raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Van Horn earned a BS in industrial administration from Yale University, he spent 16 years at Carnegie-Mellon as a faculty member, associate dean of the Graduate School of Industrial Administration, vice president for business affairs, vice president for management and provost. He went on to serve six years as the president of the University of Houston and University of Oklahoma, he served as president of Oklahoma from 1989 to 1994. Outside of academia, he spent ten years at the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit global policy think tank