Former Oklahoma basketball coach Bob Stevens dies

Coach from 1962-67 died Saturday in a boating mishap on Lake Texoma.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 2, 2012
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Bob “Go-Go” Stevens, who coached Oklahoma's men's basketball team from 1962-67, died Saturday in a boating mishap on Lake Texoma. His age was not immediately available, but Stevens was either 88 or 89.

Stevens didn't bring winning basketball to the Sooners, compiling a 46-79 record in five seasons, but he did bring an up-tempo style.

“They called us the go-go Sooners because whenever we got the ball, we go,” Stevens told The Oklahoman in 2009. “Created quite a flurry out here, because of Mr. (Henry) Iba up at what I call Stallwater. It's go, go, go. Get your shot before you allow the defense to get set.”

Stevens hired John MacLeod as OU's freshman coach, and MacLeod eventually replaced Stevens, igniting MacLeod's illustrious coaching career.

Stevens grew up in Indiana, was a Marine during World War II and eventually became a colonel. He played and coached at Michigan State

Stevens was head coach at South Carolina from 1959-62 and, after being named ACC coach of the year, was hired by then-OU athletic director Bud Wilkinson to coach the Sooners.

After leaving OU, Stevens worked at Rice and SMU, then returned to Oklahoma in 1980 and for 20 years, 1983-03, ran the Waterford Athletic Club. Stevens later worked as an aquatics inspector for the Oklahoma County health department, observed officials for the Sooner Athletic Conference and operated a scouting service.

“Oklahomans are the greatest people in the world,” Stevens said. “That's one of the reasons I was anxious to work my way back to Oklahoma. The people are so down to earth.”

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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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