Gerald Stockton was one of Henry Iba's greatest pupils

Stockton might not have been as well known, but he was one of the finest coaches ever produced by Iba.
by Berry Tramel Published: August 18, 2013
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photo - Gerald Stockton, center, coaches Midwestern State. Photo by the Wichita Falls Times Record News
Gerald Stockton, center, coaches Midwestern State. Photo by the Wichita Falls Times Record News

Henry Iba's 1951 Final Four team included two players who became iconic coaches, and teammates never saw it coming.

Don Haskins, you know about. Gerald Stockton, maybe you don't. So it's time to fix that.

Stockton died last week at age 81. His funeral was at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. On Gerald Stockton Court.

Eddie Sutton Court in Stillwater. The Don Haskins Center at Texas-El Paso. Gerald Stockton Court. Some of Iba's boys fostered the same respect that Iba himself had in 36 years at OSU.

“There's quite a string of ‘em,” said Bob Mattick, a teammate of Stockton on that '51 team and later a Cowboy All-American. “You think back, what kind of coaches he's produced here. It's just amazing.”

Stockton was born in 1932 in Peckham, near Newkirk in Kay County. He graduated from El Reno High School, where he played for the legendary Jenks Simmons. Learn your basketball from Jenks Simmons and Henry Iba, and you knew your stuff.

Stockton did.

“He was such a wonderful coach and individual,” said Harold Rogers, who also played on that '51 Oklahoma A&M, then became a lawyer who settled in Wichita Falls and recruited Stockton to Midwestern State.

In 24 seasons at Midwestern, Stockton won 493 games, took eight teams to the NAIA tournament, including one semifinal team, back in the days when reaching the tournament, much less its final four, was an absolute bear. Stockton was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1995.

When we think of Iba's great disciples, we often don't get past the glamour list of NCAA Division I. Haskins, Sutton, the great Jack Hartman.

But Iba begat two generations of great coaches on every level. High school, small college, junior college. His tentacles were vast.

And those old Cowboys never saw it coming, either in Haskins, who during college days would supplement his income around Stillwater by shooting snooker, or Stockton.

“No one on the team ever dreamed they'd be coaches,” Rogers said. “Never dreamed Stockton would be a great coach.”


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...
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