One of the most revered cowboys in National Finals Rodeo history, Cooper compiled a record 32 NFR qualifications — 19 in calf roping and 13 in steer roping. Nicknamed “Super Looper” by Sports Illustrated, Cooper won eight world titles. One of only 10 men in pro rodeo history to win the triple crown, Cooper captured the calf roping, steer roping and tie-down national titles in 1983. A Texas native who attended Southeastern State University, Cooper was the first cowboy to reach $2 million in career earnings.
A former sportscaster who has been mayor of Oklahoma City the past 10 years, Cornett was instrumental in creating the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in the 1980s. One of his career highlights is playing a key role in helping Oklahoma City land an NBA team, first the New Orleans Hornets following Hurricane Katrina, then the Thunder. Newsweek named Cornett, 49, one of the nation's five most innovative mayors. In Europe, a London-based organization that studies mayors listed Cornett as the second-best mayor in the world.
A two-time All-American defensive end at Oklahoma State, O'Neal was the runner-up for the 1985 National Defensive Player of the Year. At OSU, O'Neal compiled 351 career tackles, fifth most in school history. A first-round pick selected eighth overall, O'Neal played 14 seasons with the Chargers, Chiefs and Rams, recording 136 career NFL sacks. The six-time Pro Bowler was selected NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Two years later, he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year after overcoming a career-threatening knee injury. O'Neal, 49, has returned home to his roots in Little Rock, Ark.
The Southeast High School product played 17 years in the majors with the Brewers, Royals, Cardinals and Rangers. One of only six catchers in Major League history to score 100 runs and collect 100 RBIs in a season, Porter batted a career .247. His true value was measured by a career .356 on-base percentage and 188 home runs. A first-round pick by the Brewers in 1970, Porter, also an All-State quarterback, turned down an opportunity to play football at OU to pursue pro baseball. Porter died in 2002 at age 50.
A two-time All-American at Oklahoma, Tucker was the head coach of the U.S. Olympic team that won 1956 basketball gold medal. The 1947 National Player of the Year when he played for the Sooners, Tucker was named to the 1940s NCAA All-Decade team. Tucker played professionally for Phillips 66 and also coached, leading the Oilers to the 1955 AAU national championship. Also a member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Tucker, from Winfield, Kan., will be inducted posthumously. He died in 1979 at age 57.
A quarterback at Oklahoma, Watts, from Eufaula, led the Sooners to back-to-back Big Eight titles. He was named the Orange Bowl MVP in both 1980 and 1981. After playing six years in the Canadian Football League — leading Calgary to the 1981 Grey Cup finals his rookie season — Watts became a U.S. congressman. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994. Watts, 56, is chairman of J.C. Watts Companies, a multi-industry holding company based in Washington, D.C., with operations in Oklahoma and Texas.