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Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls

Oklahoma State Cowboys
University Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Conference Big 12
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Mike Holder
Location Stillwater, OK
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Boone Pickens Stadium
Basketball arena Gallagher-Iba Arena
Baseball stadium Allie P. Reynolds Stadium
Mascot Pistol Pete / Bullet
Nickname Cowboys
Fight song Ride 'Em Cowboys
     Orange       Black

Oklahoma State Cowboys (Cowgirls for women's teams) are the athletic teams that represent Oklahoma State University. Their mascot is a cowboy named Pistol Pete. Oklahoma State participates in the NCAA's Division 1-FBS and in the Big 12 Conference. The university's current athletic director is Mike Holder. In total, Oklahoma State has 51 team national titles, the fourth-most team national championships in the country. These national titles have come in Wrestling (34), golf (10), basketball (2), baseball (1), and cross country (4).

Varsity teams

Mascot and team nickname

Prior to 1957, OSU was known as Oklahoma A&M. As was common with most land-grant schools, its teams were known for many years as Aggies. However, in 1923, A&M was looking for a new mascot to replace its pet tiger (the inspiration behind the school colors of orange and black). A group of students saw Frank Eaton leading the Armistice Day Parade. He was approached to see if he would be interested in being the model for the new mascot, and he agreed. The caricature, Pistol Pete, that was drawn that year is more or less the same as the one in use today.

The new mascot had become so popular that by 1924, Charles Saulsberry, sports editor of the Oklahoma City Times, began calling A&M's teams the Cowboys. "Aggies" and "Cowboys" were used interchangeably until A&M was elevated to university status in 1957.

The Waving Song

The "Waving Song" is one of the fight songs for Oklahoma State. At Oklahoma State football games, the song is played by the Cowboy Marching Band during the pregame traditions, following touchdowns, and after victories against the Cowboys' opponents. For other athletic events, the Waving Song is played after an OSU victory as the start of the fight song trilogy. While the song is played, fans wave their right arms in the air; the effect is similar to wheat waving in the wind.[1]

The song's melody is that of "The Streets of New York," a song from the Victor Herbert operetta, The Red Mill. The lyrics used by Oklahoma State were written by H.G. Seldomridge, a professor who heard the tune on a visit to New York City. The original lyrics used the abbreviation "OAMC" in place of "Oklahoma State," as the school was still then known as Oklahoma A&M College. It was first sung in 1908 at a follies show at Stillwater's Grand Opera House. Ever since, it has been a tradition to play the song at OSU athletic events.[2]


File:1945 Oklahoma A&M.jpg
The 1945 championship basketball team.

Men's basketball

Oklahoma State first took the basketball court in 1908. Under head coach Henry Iba, the team won NCAA championships in 1945 and again in 1946. A&M center Bob Kurland was named the NCAA Tournament MVP during the their two championship seasons. Kurland was the first player to win the honor two times. Oklahoma State has a total of six Final Four appearances.

Under Eddie Sutton, the team made two Final Four appearances—in 1995 and in 2004. Sutton's son, Sean Sutton, began coaching the team in 2006 but resigned on March 31, 2008.[3] The team is now coached by Travis Ford.

Women's basketball

Oklahoma State first fielded a women's team during the 1972-1973 season. The team is currently without a head coach, as their fifth year head coach Kurt Budke was killed in a plane crash in Arkansas in November 2011, just after the season had started.


The Cowboys won their only national championship in 1959, but have finished runner-up on five other occasions. OSU won 16 consecutive conference championships under head coach Gary Ward in the Big 8 Conference. During that time, Pete Incaviglia was named Baseball America's Player of the Century, and Robin Ventura was inducted in the inaugural class into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Overall, OSU has made 19 College World Series appearances, including seven straight from 1981–1987.

The Cowboys' current head baseball coach is Josh Holliday.


File:Texas at OSU 2007.jpg
Texas at OSU, 2007

The OSU football program has participatied in 19 bowl games overall and 5 in the last 6 years. There have been 9 conference championships, 1 Heisman Trophy winner, 2 NFL Hall of Fame members, and 32 All-Americans to the Cowboys' name.

Oklahoma State plays football on Lewis Field, in Boone Pickens Stadium, which has recently undergone renovation and expansion.

With a win in Austin over the University of Texas on November 13, 2010, the Oklahoma State Cowboys recorded an all-time winning percentage of 0.5000, winning 519 games and losing 519. It is the first time at or above the .500 mark for the Cowboys since 1951.

The current head coach is Mike Gundy (77-38 and 5–3 in bowl appearances). During Gundy's playing career, the Cowboys enjoyed their greatest success with consecutive nine-win seasons and a record 11 win season in 2010.

Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy in 1988.[4]

Author Steve Budin, whose father was a New York bookie, has recently publicized the claim that the 1954 "Bedlam" game against rival OU was fixed by mobsters in his book Bets, Drugs, and Rock & Roll (ISBN 1-602-39099-1).[5]

Conference (seasons as member)

  • Independent (1901–1914)
  • Southwest Conference (1914–1924)
  • MVIAA (1924–1927)
  • Missouri Valley Conference (1927–1956)
  • Independent (1956–1960)
  • Big Eight Conference (1960–1996)
  • Big 12 Conference (1996–Present)


Karsten Creek serves as the home course of the Oklahoma State University Men's and Women's golf teams.[6] The Tom Fazio layout was named Golf Digest's "Best New Public Course" and served as the host site for the NCAA Men's Championship in 2003.[7]

The men's program has qualified for the NCAA Championship 66 times in 67 years[8] and has won 10 national championships (1963, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2006), eight individual national champions (Grier Jones in 1968, David Edwards in 1978, Scott Verplank in 1986, Brian Watts in 1987, E. J. Pfister in 1988, Charles Howell III in 2000, Jonathan Moore in 2006), and 54 conference championships.[9]

The women's program has also had its share of success. Under former coach Ann Pitts, the Cowgirls won 15 conference championships and made 15 appearances at the NCAA Championship. Laura Matthews led the Cowgirls to be Big 12 champions in 2005 and a top-20 finish at the NCAA Championship. Caroline Hedwall won the NCAA Division I individual championship in 2010 under new coach Annie Young.

Conference championships:

  • Men
    • Missouri Valley Conference (9): 1947–55
    • Big Eight Conference (36): 1958–67, 1969–83, 1985–91, 1993–96
    • Big 12 Conference (9): 1997–98, 2000, 2005, 2007–11
  • Women
    • Big Eight Conference (14): 1977, 1979–80, 1982, 1984–89, 1992, 1994–96
    • Big 12 Conference (8): 1999, 2001–03, 2005, 2008–09, 2013


Oklahoma State wrestling's tradition started in 1916 when Edward C. Gallagher, whose name is part of Gallagher-Iba Arena, became head coach. With his expertise in anatomy, he pioneered the sport of wrestling.[10] Gallagher coached the Cowboys until his death in 1940 from pneumonia.[11] During those 24 years, Gallagher had 11 team national titles, 19 undefeated seasons, and a 138-5-4 record.[11]

After Gallagher's death, Art Griffith took over and proceeded to win two straight national championships. Due to World War II, Oklahoma State wrestling was forced off the mat for three years. After the war, Griffith coached for another 11 years and won six more national championships in that time. Due to health reasons, Art Griffith resigned as head coach and Myron Roderick took over. At 23 years old, Roderick became the youngest coach to win a national championship in 1958. Roderick proceeded to win another 5 championships. In 1970, Myron Roderick stepped down to take an executive position with the U.S. Wrestling Federation. Former Stillwater High School coach Tommy Chesbro was hired as head coach and won eight Big Eight titles and one national championship in 15 years. Between 1985 to 1991, Joe Seay, former Cal State coach won five conference titles and two national titles.[11]

In 1993, John Smith became the seventh head coach of Oklahoma State University wrestling. Smith led the Cowboys to a national title in 1995 and four consecutive national titles between 2002–2006.[11]

Notable non varsity sports


Founded in 1974, the Oklahoma State University Rugby Football Club plays college rugby in the Division 1 Heart of America conference against several of its traditional Big 8 / Big 12 rivals. The Cowboys are led by head coach Miles Hunter.

National team championships

As of July 2, 2014, Oklahoma State has 51 NCAA team national championships.[12]

  • Men's (51)
    • Baseball (1): 1959
    • Basketball (2):1945, 1946
    • Cross Country (4): 1954, 2009, 2010, 2012
    • Golf (10): 1963, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2006
    • Wrestling (34): 1928 (unofficial), 1929-30, 1931 (unofficial), 1933 (unofficial), 1934–35, 1937–42, 1946, 1948–49, 1954–56, 1958–59, 1961–62, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1989–90, 1994, 2003–06

See also


  1. ^ *The Waving Song; at
  2. ^ Intercollegiate Athletics; Dellinger, Doris; The OSU Centennial – Histories Series; p. 38.
  3. ^ Sean Sutton resigns under pressure from Oklahoma State
  4. ^ "Heisman Trophy / 1988 - 54th Award". Retrieved 2007-08-12. [dead link]
  5. ^ Budin, Steve with Schaller, Bob (2007). Bets, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: The Rise and Fall of the World's First Offshore Sports Gambling Empire. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 1-60239-099-1. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Cowboys Advance to NCAA Championship". May 18, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Cowboys Set For Big 12 Championship". April 21, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Distinguished Member: Edward C. Gallagher". National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-04-05. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b c d "Why OSU?". Oklahoma State University athletics. 2003-04-05. Retrieved 2006-06-05. [dead link]
  12. ^

External links