Gallagher-Iba's Most Memorable Moments: Larry Reece and Tom Dirato have been a part of arena's history

Reece and Dirato have seen it, heard it and announced it during their careers affiliated with the Oklahoma State sports that play inside the famed building.
by John Helsley and Gina Mizell Published: March 2, 2014


Larry Reece wears many hats at OSU. None, however, fits better – or is more recognizable – than his role as public address announcer at Gallagher-Iba Arena. So Reece is deeply connected to the building…

“To me, it’s the most historic building in the world. I’m kind of biased, but I’ve grown up here and my daughter grew up here. From the time Lauren was born, this was her home away from home. I joke with people that her first two words were Gallagher and Iba. And it’s really not a joke.

“But this really is a special place. I’ve spent the last 25 years of my life here, calling some of the great events. I still get chills when I walk into this building and think about the history that it exudes.

“We always say it, this place is home to more champions than any other building in America. The fact that Mr. Iba put that wood floor in here in 1938 and it’s still there and it’s good and we sand it every year and it’s still better than what you could buy today.

“All the great players and the great moments that have happened here. I mean, Bedlam was born here through wrestling. It just doesn’t get any better than Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“My job is special, because this is my home. This is my university. This is the university I love. I bleed orange, just like all these fans. I just happen to be the only fan with a microphone.”


Tom Dirato spent 30 years as a member of the Oklahoma State athletic department and as a color commentator for a multitude of Cowboy sporting events.

So he had an up-close view of many of Gallagher-Iba Arena’s historic moments and considers Eddie Sutton one of his closest friends.

Even in retirement, Dirato is still a frequent visitor at Gallagher-Iba Arena while covering the Cowboys for a Stillwater radio and television station.

Continue reading this story on the...

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 Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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