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Game of life: Burl Bartlett signed Texas Tech's first black athlete

Successful coach recruited and signed Lawton receiver Danny Hardaway, the first black athlete to play for a Red Raiders team.
by Scott Munn Published: December 10, 2012

A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:

*Burl Bartlett was a successful high school football coach in Oklahoma and Texas. The Ingalls, OK, native led Blackwell and Kingfisher to a combined 44-13-5 record over the 1951-56 seasons. The 1953 Kingfisher team finished 10-0-1, losing a playoff tiebreaker (on penetrations) to Tonkawa, which went on to beat Cleveland for the Class B state championship. Bartlett was just as successful in Texas, guiding the Dumas Demons to a 33-20-1 record, including the 1961 Class 3A state title. He was later hired as an assistant coach at Texas Tech, where he recruited and signed Lawton wide receiver Danny Hardaway, the first black athlete to play for a Red Raiders team. Bartlett was an Enid resident at the time of death at age 85.

*Former Putnam City North pitcher Jake Orem died in Morgantown, W.Va., where he was attending school. Orem played baseball last season for Clarendon College (Texas), where he was 1-1 with 14 strikeouts in 16 innings. The right-hander transferred to the University of West Virginia as a junior to study nursing.

*The former Wilma Jean Robinson was a cheerleader in 1945 for Cushing High School. Wilma Jean Rueb, a mother of four, died recently at age 84.

*James Fisher was inducted into the Greater Oklahoma City Bowling Council Hall of Fame in 1991. Thea Harrah native was inducted for service; as a member of the Oklahoma Men's Bowling Association, he held every league office at least once. Also a former president of the Oklahoma State Bowler's Association. Participated in 30 American Bowling Congress Tournaments over 1974-2005. Spent several years as a Youth Bowling Association coach at the Penn 44 Lanes. Highest sanctioned game was a 279, and highest sanctioned series was 691. The retired FAA instructor died three days before his 80th birthday.

*Former Bartlesville Schools administrator Ron Jared died recently at age 71. Jared played football and marched in the band at Allen High School.

*Woodward resident Bill Smithton was a star athlete at old Rosston High School. He ran track and helped the basketball team to the Class C state tournament. Smithton attended Oklahoma State on a track scholarship. Smithton drove a 1952 Studebaker in car races and also enjoyed fishing. He died at age 66.

*Frances Misialek of Edmond enjoyed horse racing at Remington Park. For more than 40 years, she and husband Chet, were horse enthusiasts. The Misialeks entered several horses in Remington Park events. Frances, a Canton, N.C., native, died Dec. 3 at age 81.

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by Scott Munn
Sports Assistant Editor
Scott Munn joined The Oklahoman/Oklahoma City Times sports staffs in October 1982. He spent a year as a formcharter, three years on the desk and 16 as a reporter. Scott has spent the last nine years as an evening assistant sports editor. Scott's...
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Quote me

“Over her four years, she was the No. 1 goalkeeper in college soccer, and her being a three-time All-American validates that a lot of other coaches also feel that way. What AD accomplished during her career here is remarkable.” — Oklahoma State soccer coach Colin Carmichael on senior goalkeeper AD Franch, who became the first three-time All-American in Cowgirls soccer history. Franch finished her career with a school-record 38 shutouts.

Birthday club

People in sports with Oklahoma ties who celebrate birthdays on Tuesday:

*Former Oklahoma City 89ers pitcher Bob Sebra turns 51. Sebra pitched the 1984 and 1985 seasons with the Niners before playing six seasons in the big leagues.

*Josh Scobey, who starred for Del City High School, turns 32. Scobey played running back at Kansas State, and then for three NFL teams.

*Ted Hampson, a player-coach and general manager for the old Oklahoma City Stars of the original Central Hockey League, turns 75. Hampson skated in 32 games over the 1978-81 seasons for the Stars. He had played 981 games in either the National Hockey League or World Hockey Association before taking the front office/player role with OKC.

*Former Oklahoma City Blazers star J.P. Parise turns 70. Parise played with the Blazers of the original CHL.


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