Billy Vessels came out of Cleveland, Oklahoma, and led the Oklahoma Sooners to the 1950 NCAA Football National Championship. He rushed for 1072 yards, had seven 100 yard games and scored 18 touchdowns on his way to winning the 1952 Heisman Trophy, the first Sooner to win the coveted award. Vessels was the first pick by the Baltimore Colts in the 1953 Draft, but elected to play with the Edmonton Eskimos. He played only one season in Canada, winning the Schenly Award, as that country’s top professional football player. After one year in the U.S. Army, he was back with the Baltimore Colts in 1956, and retired from football the following year. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
Bertha Frank Teague coached women’s basketball for forty-three years at Byng High School in Ada, Oklahoma, and compiled a 1,157-115 record (.910 winning percentage). Her Lady Pirates won eight state championships, forty district championships, twenty-two regional titles and thirty-eight conference crowns. Her teams also went undefeated and won ninety-eight consecutive games from 1936-1938. Teague was often frustrated with the archaic rules of women’s basketball, and is credited with modernizing and pushing women’s basketball to where it is today. She established the first girl’s basketball clinic in the Southwest, and was the first female coach to be enshrined in the Nasmith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985.
Class of 1989 Inductees
Induction Sponsored by Brothers of Sigma Nu
Induction Sponsored by W. Lynne Draper
Induction Sponsored by the Jim Thorpe Association
Born and raised near Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jim Shoulders came onto the rodeo scene as a city bred son of an auto body mechanic, and won his first rodeo at age 14. Shoulder’s sixteen RCA World Championships include five All-Around Cowboy Awards (1949, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959), seven Bull Rider Awards (1951, 1954-1959), and four Bareback Rider Awards (1950, 1956, 1957, 1958). By 1960, at age 32, he had earned more than $400,000 riding bulls and bareback broncos. He is a member of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and is the only professional cowboy honored in the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame.
OKLAHOMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME