Sooners to honor Switzer with statue

Oklahoma will unveil a statue of the man who set the record for most victories by a Sooner football coach when it honors Barry Switzer prior to the OU-Texas A&M game this Saturday. Switzer will be the third coach so recognized after statues of Bennie Owen and Bud Wilkinson were unveiled last season.

The ceremony will begin at 12:30 p.m., east of the Barry Switzer Center and near the Owen and Wilkinson statues.

OU President David L. Boren and Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione are on the speaking program for the event. Several of Switzer’s former assistant coaches and players are expected to attend as well, and interim Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas will introduce Switzer.

Switzer led OU from 1973-88 and won more games than any other coach in school history at 157-29-4, including a mark of 100-11-1 in conference games. His Sooners captured three national championships (1974, 1975, 1985), 12 Big Eight Conference championships and eight bowl wins in 13 appearances.

Oklahoma players earned All-America recognition 51 times during his tenure.

For his efforts, Switzer was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

The sculptor for the statue was Jack Nortz, who has been head of the sculpture department at Oklahoma City’s MTM for the last 20 years. Some of his other projects include President Ronald Reagan, Bear Bryant, Brett Hull, Globe Trotter founder Gabe Saperstein, Eddie Robinson, sportscasters Jim McKay, Dick Schaap, Grantland Rice, and OU Heisman winner Sam Bradford.

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