Jan. 15, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – A pair of former Oklahoma State stars have been elected to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, it was announced today.
Two-sport All-American John Henry Ward and basketball star Bill Self will be among the seven individuals in the 2013 Induction Class for the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, which will be announced today by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. The 2013 class is made up of men and women who have contributed to the sports heritage of Oklahoma in a variety of ways.
Along with Self and Ward, the 2013 class includes University of Oklahoma wrestling great Wayne Baughman, Chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder Clay Bennett, Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci, Oklahoma City University football standout LeRoy “Ace” Gutowsky and former Oklahoma quarterback Jimmy Harris.
“This year’s class is spectacular,” said Eddie Griffin, President of The Jim Thorpe Association. “The achievements of these individuals are unparalleled — Olympic champions, All Americans and record-setting careers. It’s just remarkable. This group truly represents how great the state of Oklahoma is.”
Ward was a two-sport All-American in football and wrestling at Oklahoma State. The Tulsa native was a 1969 All-American tackle in football and a 1969 All-American in wrestling, finishing third at the NCAA Championships as a heavyweight.
Following his OSU career, Ward was a first-round pick in the 1970 NFL Draft and was a lineman in the NFL from 1970-76 for the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played on two Super Bowl teams while he was with the Vikings.
A native of Edmond, Self was named the Oklahoma High School Basketball Player of the Year in 1981 and went on to star at Oklahoma State under Coach Paul Hansen. A four-year letter winner for the Cowboys, he was an All-Big Eight freshman selection in 1982. Self also served as an assistant coach at OSU for seven seasons, joining Leonard Hamilton’s staff for the 1986-87 season. After four seasons under Hamilton, Self was on coach Eddie Sutton’s staff for three years.
After serving as an assistant at Kansas and OSU, Self has established himself as one of the NCAA’s top head coaches, first at Oral Roberts, then Tulsa and Illinois before taking over at KU in 2003. With the Jayhawks, Self has won an NCAA national championship (2008), made two Final Four appearances (2008, 2012) and won eight Big 12 regular season championships and five Big 12 Championship titles. He was named the AP Coach of the Year in 2009 and the Naismith College Coach of the Year in 2012. He has also been named the Big 12 Coach of the Year four times — 2006, ’09, ’11 and ’12.
The 2013 Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held on August 5, 2013, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.