|In 2014-15, for the 77th season,
the home of Oklahoma State Cowboy Basketball will be storied
Gallagher-Iba Arena. In its 14th season since a major renovation
took place, Gallagher-Iba Arena is still considered one of the
finest collegiate basketball arenas in the country and can be
described with just a single word: Historic!
Despite doubling the size of the facility prior to the
2000-01 season, the arena still provides an up-close view from
any seat in the house, helping to give the Cowboys a tremendous
homecourt advantage. This can be evidenced by OSU's 328-47
record over the past quarter century, sporting an .875 winning
percentage during that span.
Quick Facts - Cowboy Basketball in GIA
Quick Facts - Cowboy Wrestling in GIA
|The original structure, called the 4-H Club and Student
Activity Building when it was built in 1938 at a cost of $1.5 million,
and was dubbed the "Madison Square Garden of the Plains," standing as
one of the premier sporting venues in the region. The arena was
unveiled in grand fashion, as national basketball powers Oklahoma State
and Kansas opened the facility on December 9, 1938, in a game that
matched coaching legends Henry Iba and Phog Allen. Mr. Iba's Cowboys
won that game, 21-15.
The facility was quickly rechristened as Gallagher Hall in honor of fabled Oklahoma A&M wrestling coach Ed Gallagher.
Gallagher is widely renowned as the father of modern amateur wrestling, and crafted much of the sport while serving as Oklahoma A&M wrestling coach from 1916-40. In his 23 years at the helm, OSU won 11 team national championships and compiled a 138-5-4 dual record. Gallagher was also an outstanding athlete while attending Oklahoma A&M. He was captain of the track team for three years, and his 99-yard run against Kansas State in 1908 still stands as the longest football run in school history.
The facility would see a second name change in 1987, when the Board of Regents amended Gallagher Hall's name to recognize legendary Cowboy basketball coach Henry Iba.
During his tenure in Stillwater, Mr. Iba served as a great influence the game of basketball. It was in Gallagher-Iba Arena where Mr. Iba shaped many of the philosophies that many basketball coaches still teach today. He coached in 1,105 collegiate games, and his 767 career wins rank eighth in NCAA Division I history. Mr. Iba served as coach and athletic director at Oklahoma State from 1935 to 70, and in those 36 seasons, posted a 655-316 record while guiding the Cowboys to 13 league championships, eight NCAA appearances and the 1945 and 1946 NCAA Championships.
Two seats are permanently reserved for Gallagher and Iba in the southeast corner of the arena on the concourse level.
The original capacity of Gallagher Hall (9,000) decreased throughout the years, due to fire codes and such. By the 1986-87 season - prior to the first major renovation - the capacity was 6,750.
Wrestling at Gallagher-Iba Arena
|No venue in America has a richer wrestling tradition than
Gallagher-Iba Arena, home of Oklahoma State wrestling since 1939. In its
beginning as Gallagher Hall, the gymnasium was named for Edward Clark
Gallagher, the Oklahoma A&M wrestling mentor who never wrestled
competitively but became the greatest coach of his time.
The 1987-88 season brought a new look and a new name to the hallowed hall. When renovations were completed in January 1988, it was renamed Gallagher-Iba Arena to honor the late Mr. Henry P. Iba, Oklahoma State’s legendary basketball coach.
Gallagher-Iba Arena took on a new look once again in 2001. On Jan. 4, 2001 the OSU wrestling team hosted Oregon in the first match in the newly renovated arena. Gallagher-Iba Arena underwent a $56 million renovation, that increased the seating capacity of Gallagher-Iba Arena to its current total of 13,611 seats.
The Cowboys set a new wrestling attendance record in the first season, packing in 10,802 for a Bedlam Series dual against Oklahoma on Feb. 18. Previously, the largest crowd was estimated at 8,300.
Since wrestling began in Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Cowboys have won 25 NCAA titles and have had 40 unbeaten and untied campaigns at home. One of their longest winning streaks ran with the arena’s opening in 1939 and lasted until Feb. 16, 1951. During that period, Oklahoma State won 37 straight home duals, including no ties.
From the final dual of 1959 through the first five home duals of the 1967 season, Oklahoma State wrestled 67 duals without a loss, finishing with an impressive 60-0-1 record before the streak was broken by Oklahoma, 19-13.
On Feb. 3, 1939, Oklahoma A&M wrestled for the first time inside the arena, defeating Indiana by an 18-6 margin. On Feb. 3, 1989, the Oklahoma State Cowboys hosted the Hoosiers in a celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the first Gallagher Hall dual. The Cowboys defeated the Hoosiers, 28-6, in the 1989 dual.
OSU’s latest home winning streak of 50 consecutive duals was the second-longest such streak without a loss or tie, as it began near the end of the 1986 season and lasted until Jan. 30, 1993.