Welcome to Oklahoma State Athletics.
It is a place where Olympic gold medalists and NCAA champions pass each other in the halls. It is the home of perhaps the best basketball facility in the country and the future home of one of the nation's top football complexes.
It is the home of the Heisman Trophy, the NCAA baseball player of the century, and several of the greatest wrestlers in history. It is the home of one of college basketball's first great big men, not to mention the home of one of the founding fathers of the sport. Its golfers go on to become household names. And its biggest booster is already a household name.
It is the home of 48 national team championships – a total better than all but three schools in America. This is Oklahoma State Athletics.
The Oklahoma State athletic department has long been known as one of the most tradition-rich in the country – and not just in one or two sports, but across the board. In fact, during the 2006-2007 academic year, Oklahoma State's athletic squads reached the top 10 in 10 different sports. And that total does not include an NCAA Tournament appearance by women's basketball or the Independence Bowl win by the football squad.
In the annual Director's Cup standings, which grades overall athletic performance by NCAA members, OSU has finished among the top 30 programs six times since the award's inception in 1994.
Individually, more than 140 OSU student-athletes have won national titles, including Cowboy wrestlers Johny Hendricks and Jake Rosholt, and men's golfer Jonathan Moore during the spring of 2006.
While competing in the Big Eight Conference, the Cowboys and Cowgirls won 135 team titles and crowned 500 individual conference champions.
Most recently, the wrestling team claimed OSU's 47th NCAA title in the spring of 2006, followed quickly by the 48th championship when men's golf brought home it's 10th national championship just a couple of months later. For the grapplers, the title was their fourth in a row, and men's golf claimed the NCAA's top prize for the third time in 12 years.
Cowboy Wrestling is perhaps the most storied program in all of college athletics. OSU's incredible 34 team national championships are the most collected by any school in any one sport. The Cowboys have also produced 133 individual national champions, including the sport's first-ever four-time champion, Pat Smith.
Priding itself on producing talented running backs, the Oklahoma State Cowboy football program has seen many college and professional legends roam the plains at Boone Pickens Stadium. Greats such as Bob Fenimore, Ernest Anderson, Terry Miller, Thurman Thomas, Tatum Bell and the incomparable 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders have all lined up in the offensive backfield at "Tailback U".
The Cowboy baseball program is one of the most successful in the country. The Road to Omaha is all to familiar to Oklahoma State fans, as Oklahoma State has made the trek to the College World Series a remarkable 19 times, the fourth most CWS berths in NCAA history, and won the national title in 1959.
The program has also produced two of the game's best collegiate players, Pete Incaviglia and Robin Ventura. One of the game's most revered power hitters, Incaviglia rewrote the NCAA record books en route to being named the "Player of the Century" by Baseball America. After amassing a 58-game hitting streak, Ventura earned "Player of the Decade" honors and finished third in the player of the century voting.
Under former head softball coach Sandy Fischer, who produced the fourth-highest win total in Division I history, OSU made six appearances in the Women's College World Series.
Legendary basketball coach Henry Iba assembled one of the nation's first men's basketball powerhouses at OSU, then Oklahoma A&M, in the 1940s. Mr. Iba's coaching philosophies shaped much of game of basketball that fans know today. Coaching icons such as Bob Knight, John Wooden, Don Haskins, and OSU's own Eddie Sutton can all be included under the "Iba Tree" of college basketball.
Oklahoma A&M is home to the first college basketball dynasty. OAMC's 1945 and 1946 basketball teams were the first in NCAA history to win back-to-back national championships. They were led by Bob "Foothills" Kurland, whose unprecedented dominance inside helped usher in the goaltending rule in basketball.
The Cowboys returned to the national scene under one
of Mr. Iba's former star pupils, Hall of Fame nominee Eddie
Sutton, who engineered the Cowboys' remarkable run to the 1995 and 2004 Final
Fours. Sutton's teams became famous for their ferocious defense, and their commitment to desire and discipline.
The Cowgirl basketball squad has had its share of postseason action as well. The program has now played in nine NCAA tournaments, including back-to-back trips in 2007 and 2008, and made Sweet 16 appearances in 1993 and 2008. Following the arrival of current head coach Kurt Budke, Cowgirl basketball experienced the biggest turnaround in all of college basketball; going from 0-16 in Big 12 play to 8-8 and in the NCAA tournament the very next year.
Led by sophomore phenom Andrea Riley, Cowgirl Basketball reached new heights during the 2007-08 season. A sellout crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena - the largest to ever watch a women's basketball game in the state of Oklahoma - watched the Cowgirls’ landmark 82-63 triumph over Bedlam rival Oklahoma. The Cowgirls went on to play in the Big 12 tournament championship game, and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament before being eliminated by LSU.
One of golf's finest venues, Karsten Creek, serves as the backdrop for two of college golf's premier programs. Opened in 1994, the Tom Fazio layout was named Golf Digest's "Best New Public Course". In 1998, the course was one of only 10 in the nation to be awarded a five-star rating. The course served as the host site for the men's NCAA Championship in 2003.
The men's squad has qualifi ed for the NCAA Championships in each of its 61 seasons, a feat unmatched by any other program in the country, while winning a stunning 50 conference championships. OSU has claimed 10 national titles, including eight by former head coach turned OSU athletic director Mike Holder. The Cowgirl golfers have made 16 NCAA appearances and won 15 conference titles, not to mention the 2007 NCAA regional.
Since 1983, the cross country and track and field programs have had more than 50 All-Americans, four NCAA champions, one world-record holder and one Olympian emerge from the program.
The men's cross country team has also contributed to the legion of national titles with its victory at the 1954 national meet.
The women's program has produced numerous All-Americans and conference champions, led by 1988 Olympian Christine McMiken's nine conference championships and eight All-America honors.
Both the men and women's cross country teams finished in the top 10 in 2005.
The OSU tennis teams have consistently been frontrunners in conference and national competition.
On the men's side, the Cowboys have 12 league titles and more than 120 individual conference champions to their credit. Included in that group is three-time national champion Pavel Kudrnac. The Cowboys hosted an NCAA regional in 2006 and 2007 and advanced to the Sweet 16 last spring.
Beginning with the 1980 season, the women's team put together an impressive string of 11 consecutive conference crowns and has finished among the top 10 nationally on a regular basis.
A pair of sports, women's soccer and equestrian, have
been added in recent years to boost the number of varsity
sports at Oklahoma State to 18, and both have quickly attained
success. Cowgirl Soccer has raised Big 12 championship banners
and is now consistently ranked among the nation's best, while equestrian now claims three varsity western team national championships.
In 2001, the most unique athletic complex in the country was unveiled. The Athletic Center, which houses the renovated Gallagher-Iba Arena, is a state-of-the-art facility. Capacity was more than doubled, rising from 6,381 to 13,611, and included skyboxes that allow fans to watch football on one side and basketball or wrestling on the other. Gallagher-Iba Arena is recognized by many as America's best college basketball facility.
Boone Pickens Stadium changes almost hourly as the home of the Cowboys continues to evolve into one of America's top facilities.
And across the street from the stadium, work is underway on the Athletic Village and indoor practice facility.