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Happy Birthday, Barry Switzer: 75 birthday wishes on your 75th birthday

On the former Oklahoma and Dallas coach's 75th birthday, we collected birthday greetings from 75 people, including Troy Aikman, Brian Bosworth, Randy Galloway, Deion Sanders and Bob Stoops.
by Berry Tramel and Ed Godfrey and Jenni Carlson and Michael Baldwin and John Helsley and Jason Kersey and Jacob Unruh Modified: October 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm •  Published: October 5, 2012
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photo -  Happy Birthday wish from Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News sports columnist:
Happy Birthday wish from Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News sports columnist:
"(Happy Birthday to) the coach I covered with both the Sooners and the Cowboys. As maybe the only beat writer that covered you at OU and Dallas, my only question is: What's our next stop?"

1995: Switzer with The Star
Switzer joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 and won the Super Bowl in 1995.

Want to wish Barry Switzer a happy birthday? Leave him a note here.

 

Troy Aikman, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback

“To the greatest recruiter in the history of football ... which explains why a 6-foot-4 pocket passer would go to Oklahoma to run the wishbone.”

Fred Akers, former Texas coach

“A good friend. I think that's the test of friendship, when you can go to battle like we did — win or lose, either one — and get over it. That's a friendship.”

Jari Askins, former Lt. Governor of Oklahoma

“A man whose heart is bigger than football records and championship rings. Husband. Dad. ‘Grumpy.' Coach. Mentor. Friend.”

Bobby Bell, 40-year best friend and fishing pal

“The man that I love like a brother, the best-hearted guy that I've ever been around.”

Dean Blevins, former OU quarterback

“A man who has been my coach and friend for some 40 years. A remarkable father, admired by millions — especially his family, former players and Oklahomans whose lives he's touched with a genuine and unselfish love.”

David Boren, University of Oklahoma president

“A great example of the Sooner spirit.”

Brian Bosworth, former OU linebacker

“My favorite Sooner of all time.”

John Brooks, former OU play-by-play voice

“A coach who could generate enthusiasm (in players) and belief in themselves. What he did in recruiting the black athlete opened the doors for so many others, in addition to the ones who played at Oklahoma.”

Mike Brooks, OU football historian

“A champion at life. Gosh, he's honest. He had warts, he had spots, he had problems, but, man, what a winner.”

Mack Brown, Texas coach

“A great friend since 1984. What a tremendous, hall of fame coach. I wish him all the best on his big day.”

Frank Broyles, former Arkansas coach and athletic director

“A Razorback letterman coaching three NCAA championships and a Super Bowl championship. What gives me the most pride is the kind of man you are and the thousands of lives you have touched along the way.”

Joe Castiglione, OU athletic director

“A Hall of Fame coach no doubt, but being a champion for the needs of others defines what you're all about.”

Sherri Coale, OU women's basketball coach

“A coach who taught us all that relationships are the foundation of every success. And for being the best storyteller alive. Honored to call you my friend.”

Derek Cody, OU fan living in Starkville, Miss.

“The thorn in Texas' side, the man who perfected the wishbone and how to be a champion, the man who will always be our coach.”

Patrick Collins, former OU halfback

“A man that has really been a father figure to me. He's someone who cares about people more than himself.”

Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News sports columnist

“The coach I covered with both the Sooners and the Cowboys. As maybe the only beat writer that covered you at OU and Dallas, my only question is: What's our next stop?”

Steve Davis, former OU quarterback

“The master wizard of ‘Sooner Magic!' It was Coach Switzer's heart and passion that challenged his players to make magic on those wonderful Saturday afternoons. His genius was in his ability to inspire his teams to play their best in the biggest games.”

Adrian DeWendt, Special Olympics Oklahoma president and CEO

“The man who has been the Special Olympics Oklahoma head coach for more than 40 years, never missing an opening ceremonies in all those years. You have inspired and encouraged countless athletes, coaches, volunteers and friends with your humble dedication.”

Jim Donnan, former OU offensive coordinator

“An awesome coach and a genuine friend. He was the best coach I ever worked for. His ability to motivate players and delegate authority to coaches is unmatched.”

Donnie Duncan, former OU athletic director and assistant coach

“A special and talented man, but your greatest legacy will be that as the head coach at Oklahoma. Your openness brought hope into homes where there was little hope. In the process, every player had a fair chance and millions were uplifted by seeing on TV how one man could — and did — make a difference. ”

Al Eschbach, sports talk radio host

“The man who was a lot more than just a recruiter. He's a tremendous Xs and Os coach.”

Chuck Fairbanks, former OU coach

“A great friend. Barry was like a younger brother to me. He was totally outstanding as a coach and a friend. Like all of us, we probably could look back and say there are some things we'd like to do over again, but when you look at the total body of work, it's a pretty darn outstanding career he's had and I'm awfully proud of that.”

Mike Gaddis, former OU running back

“The reason for my choosing the Sooners over the (USC) Trojans back in 1987. Thanks for still being ‘coach' for me even until this day. I know I can always call on you whenever for whatever. ”

Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star sports columnist

“The man who made 75. You'll be there at 125. Let me be the first to say, as your worst critic back in your Cowboy days, I was too hard on you, Barry. I was too hard on you.”

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys coach and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback

“My old coach. It was great to play for you and learn from you. I wish you the very best when you celebrate this milestone.”

Mike Gundy, OSU coach

“A guy who a lot of people had a hard time saying ‘no' to. He just has that way about him where it's real easy to like him, especially in recruiting.”

Heather Hancock, Special Olympics Oklahoma athlete from Moore

“An awesome head coach, who presented me with the Oklahoma athlete of the year award at the Special Olympics summer state games in 2011. Thank you for dedicating 40 years of service to Special Olympics Oklahoma.”

The family of Bob Hersom, who covered Switzer's Sooners for The Oklahoman

“A bootlegger's boy to Super Bowl champion, winning national college football championships along the way. You have embraced life at every turn.”

Scott Hill, former OU assistant coach

“To the man who drove me across campus and showed me where the Baptist Student Union was located to live with Joe Wiley. My special thanks for showing how to express concern, love, loyalty and compassion for all people and in all situations.”

Becky Switzer, wife

“The best husband and friend ever.”

Jamelle Holieway, former OU quarterback

“One of the best people that I've ever met in my life, whether it's a coach or a friend or a father. I appreciate you always being straight up and coming forward to tell me what I need to do and what I need to do make it better.”

Keith Jackson, former OU tight end

“The greatest player's coach of all time. A lot of people measure success on how many games they win. He measures his success on the relationships he has.”

Continue reading this story on the...

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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Want to wish Barry Switzer a happy birthday? Leave him a note here.

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