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
In the annual Director's Cup standings, which grades
overall athletic performance by NCAA members, OSU has
finished among the top 30 programs seven 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.
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.
In 2010, Oklahoma State's NCAA championship total grew to 50 as the Cowboy Cross
Country team repeated as national champions, bringing home the program's third
team national championship. The
Cowboys also took home their third-consecutive Big 12 championship that year
and spent the entire season ranked among the top teams nationally.
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 134 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". Justin Blackmon exploded on the national scene in 2010 and became
only the second player in college football history to win the Fred Biletnikoff
Award in consecutive years.
The 21st century has seen explosive growth for the Cowboy Football program.
Since 2002, the Pokes have been to a bowl game in all but one year. In that
time, OSU has played in some of college football's most prestigious bowl games,
including two visits to the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the 2008 Pacific Life
Holiday Bowl and the 2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In the Mike Gundy Era, three Cowboys - Brandon Pettigrew (2009
Detroit), Russell Okung (2010 Seattle), and Dez Bryant (2010 Dallas) - have been
selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The Cowboys have been no strangers
to the Top 25 polls, rising as high as #2 in America in 2011. Oklahoma State
earned a trip to its first ever BCS game after winning the 2011 Big 12 football
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
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
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. 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.
The Cowgirls overcame the tragic loss of head coach Kurt Budke and assistant
Miranda Serna in the 2011-12 season by winning the 2012 Women's NIT Championship
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 and 2011.
The men's squad has qualified 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
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 and women's cross country programs have also contributed to the rich
history of Oklahoma State Athletics. Both programs are no strangers to competing
with the nation's best, having finished in the top 10 in 2005.
Men's Cross Country has captured four national championships in the program's
history. The Cowboy runners' first title came in 1954, after an unbeaten season.
The second championship was claimed in 2009, as coach Dave Smith's Cowboys ran
as a pack. Smith has made an immediate impact on Oklahoma State Cross Country,
as the Pokes have won back-to-back Big 12 Championships, becoming the first team
to knock perennial power Colorado off the top of the conference title chase. The
Cowboy Cross Country team cemented itself as a modern dynasty after OSU repeated
as national champions in 2010, finished as national runner-up in 2011 and again
captured the team national championship in 2012.
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.
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
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 three 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