OKLAHOMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME

        LEGACY

     of Oklahoma sports lives here.

Stanley Draper Jr., referred to by some as "Mr. Sport", helped pave the way for Oklahoma City to become a tourism destination. In 1957, he helped organize the Oklahoma City All-Sports Association to take over the All College Basketball Tournament, and bring other sporting events to the OKC area. As Executive Director of the All Sports Association for 42 years, his efforts are credited with promoting events that include: The National Finals Rodeo, National Aircraft Show, Aerospace America, International Sports Federation General Assembly, Sooner State Games, NCAA national tournaments, NCAA regional basketball tournaments and numerous major single events.

At what is now Southwestern Oklahoma State University, James Ellington "Jenks" Simmons lettered in football, basketball and track, and then earned Rookie of the Year honors with the NFL’s Cleveland Bulldogs. Known during the 1940-50's in Oklahoma high school sports as "Mr. Basketball", he gained famed in a 27-year coaching career at El Reno High School, with a record of 436-144. His teams won five state championships and the Boomer Conference Championship every year except one, when they tied for the title. He was the athletic director and head coach of the basketball and football teams at Northwestern State in Alva, Oklahoma, from 1934-1940, and was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame in 1967.

Prentice Gautt was an outstanding University of Oklahoma running back. In 1956, he became the first African-American to play football at Oklahoma. He was a two-time All-Big Eight and Academic All-American, and in 1959, set the Orange Bowl record for the highest rushing average of 15.7 yards per carry. In 1960, Gautt was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and then moved to St. Louis in '61 where played until his retirement in 1967. In his 88 professional games, he compiled 2,466 total rushing yards, had 79 receptions for 901 total yards and 17 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame in 1985.

A native of Ramona, Oklahoma, Gary Ward took the head coaching position at Oklahoma State University and turned an average baseball program into a top national contender. In 19 seasons, his Cowboys won a national record 16-straight Big Eight Conference championships, and they were 17-time conference champions overall. They played in 10 College World Series tournaments, placing second three times and third twice. Ward's overall record at OSU was 953-331.  His career winning percentage of .752 was the highest in Big Eight baseball and ranked sixth all-time among all Division I coaches.

Steve Owen

Induction Sponsored by the New York Giants Football Club

Wayne Wells

Induction Sponsored by G.W. Schoenhals, MD, and the University of Oklahoma Department of Athleitcs

 

Gary Ward

Induction Sponsored by the Oklahoma State University Department of Athletics

W. Donald McNeill was Oklahoma's greatest tennis player. He won five state tennis titles and claimed numerous national titles. He was ranked in the world top 10 six times from 1937-46. McNeill became only the second American to capture the French Open in 1939. He also took home the doubles titles with partner Charles Harris. He won three of America's most prestigious tennis titles; the National Clay Court, the National Intercollegiate and the U.S. Nationals. In 1944, while on military leave, he partnered with Bob Falkenberg and won the U.S. Open doubles title. McNeill was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1965.

At Ada High School, Elvan George coached his football teams to six state championships (1951, 1952 and 1954-1957) had 18 consecutive play-off wins. George won 64 out of 68 games, including a 33-game winning streak from 1956-1958. With an overall high school record of 174-52-9, he was named Oklahoma Coach of the Year by the Daily Oklahoman in 1952 and 1957.  He took over as head coach at East Central University in 1959, and during 11 years as head coach, he compiled a record of 93-36-5. He won three Oklahoma Collegiate Conference Championships (1964-66), tied for a fourth (1967) and was named the Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year. He is a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame and the NAIA Hall of Fame.

Class of 2000 Inductees

A 1929 All-American in basketball at the University of Oklahoma, Bruce Drake also participated in football and track. He went on to coach championship basketball teams at four different levels: college, AAU, military and Olympics. He coached at the OU for 17 years, leading the Sooners to more than 200 wins. Drake won or tied for six conference championships. He had a 6-3 record in NCAA tournament action, and also coached the University's golf and swimming programs. His golf teams won 33 consecutive duals, and the swimming program placed in the NCAA tournament twice. He was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971.

Bruce Drake

Induction Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma Department of Athletics


Prentice Gautt

Induction Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma Department of Athletics and University of Oklahoma Football Teammates

Stanley Draper, Jr.

Induction Sponsored by Oklahoma City All Sports Association and the Amateur Softball Association

 

Andy Payne grew up in Claremore, Oklahoma, and was only 20-years old when he traveled across the United States to capture the first International Trans-Continental Foot Race. Along with 275 runners from around the world, he entered the 3,422.3-mile race that snaked across ten states from Los Angeles to New York. One of six Americans that entered the race, Payne averaged 60 miles per day to complete the distance in 573 hours, 4 minutes and 34 seconds. Payne beat his nearest competitor by 15 hours. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Long Distance Running Wall of Fame in 1998.

Elvan George

Induction Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma Department of Athletics

 

Oklahoma City’s Wayne Wells had the most wins of any wrestler at the University of Oklahoma with a record of 69-4-2. At 152-pounds, he was a three time All-Big Eight, two-time All-American, runner-up in the 1967 NCAA championships and the 1968 NCAA champion. From 1968-1972, Wells went undefeated in his United States competitions. In 1970, he was the first person to win wrestling's "Triple Crown", winning the U.S. Federation and the U.S. Amateur Wrestling Foundation's National Championships and the World Championship in the 163-pound category. He took the gold medal in the 1972 Olympics, was named Amateur Athlete of the Southwest in 1974. Wayne Wells was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1982.

Steve Owen is one of football's greatest defensive coaches. Owen became the head coach of the New York Giants in 1931. He developed the "umbrella" defense to successfully shut down the pass. The formation became the basis for the modern-day "Zone" defense. Owen came up with many other coaching innovations including the A-Formation and the two platoon system. He stepped down as the Giants' head coach in 1953. His total record of 153-108-17 included eight division titles and NFL championships in 1934 and 1938.

Don McNeill

Induction Sponsored by Oklahoma District Tennis Association and U.S. Tennis Association

 

Jenks Simmons

Induction Sponsored by Bank of Union and John Shelley

 

Andy Payne

Induction Sponsored by INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation

 

OKLAHOMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME