Sooner stalwart enjoying retirement
Had a chance to chat with Marita Hynes earlier today.
She was Oklahoma’s longtime associate athletic director who recommended the hiring of Sherri Coale and Patty Gasso. Both coaches turned their programs — Coale in women’s basketball and Gasso in softball — into national powers.
Hynes was also instrumental in the growth of the Women’s College World Series, now one of the biggest events on Oklahoma’s sports calendar.
Hynes retired in 2003, but I try to keep touch with her regularly. I called on her this week for a piece about Coale that will run Sunday — be sure to check it out! — but we got to chatting about retired life.
Hynes lives now in Ruidoso, N.M., a picturesque resort town where she plays lots of golf. But she told me that she’s doing more than playing. She is the president of her country club and oversees a ladies golf league. She also gets all the volunteers needed for the New Mexico amateur tournament.
She still manages to get in about four rounds of golf a week, and she also travels to play in tournaments. Last week, she was in El Paso for a tournament.
Hearing everything that Hynes is doing made me wonder if it really is retirement.
“It’s wonderful,” she assured me.
I joked that the only difference between her workload now and her workload when she was at OU is the pay.
“Unless the economy improves,” she said, “I might have to go back to getting paid for it.”
Here’s hoping Hynes stays happily retired. For all she did for women’s athletics not only at OU but also in this state, she deserves the chance to do what she wants and to do it on her terms.
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