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Happy Birthday, Barry Switzer: 75 birthday wishes on your 75th birthday

On the former Oklahoma and Dallas coach's 75th birthday, we collected birthday greetings from 75 people, including Troy Aikman, Brian Bosworth, Randy Galloway, Deion Sanders and Bob Stoops.
by Berry Tramel and Ed Godfrey and Jenni Carlson and John Helsley and Jason Kersey and Jacob Unruh Modified: October 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm •  Published: October 5, 2012

photo -  Happy Birthday wish from Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News sports columnist:
Happy Birthday wish from Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News sports columnist:
"(Happy Birthday to) the coach I covered with both the Sooners and the Cowboys. As maybe the only beat writer that covered you at OU and Dallas, my only question is: What's our next stop?"

1995: Switzer with The Star
Switzer joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 and won the Super Bowl in 1995.

Jay Jimerson, former OU quarterback

“One of the all-time great motivators and a very personable man who give very generously of his time to others.”

Jimmy Johnson, former Oklahoma State and Dallas Cowboys coach

“A legend in Oklahoma football. Barry could walk into a room and light it up. (He has) more charisma than anyone I've ever met. Plenty of stories, but most I can't tell.”

Merv Johnson, OU director of football operations

“Someone who gave me the opportunity to come back and work with a longtime friend here at the University of Oklahoma. Little did I realize how much I would appreciate and enjoy being here in Oklahoma for all of these 30-plus years.”

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner

“My coach at Arkansas and with the Cowboys. I see zero signs of you slowing down any. You never have before, so I don't know why you would now.”

Mike Jones, former OU assistant coach

“The coach who recruited me out of high school, then gave me the opportunity to coach at the University of Oklahoma, one of the greatest traditions in college football, and to coach under one of the greatest college coaches ever. Love you, man.”

Pat Jones, former OSU coach

“A good friend and a fierce competitor who I always respected. Still do, and always will.”

Don Key, former OU player for whom the team's Don Key Award was named after a kidney injury ended his career

“A much loved coach. I am deeply humbled by the great honor you bestowed upon me as I faced the greatest of sorrow and defeat. I appreciate that you looked past each ‘player' to see each ‘man.'”

Larry Lacewell, former Dallas Cowboys director of scouting and OU assistant coach

“The guy that I made a great coach.”

Clinton Lawson, OU season ticketholder living in Choctaw

“To the one who made my oldest daughter a fan for life by signing a Krispy Kreme doughnut hat for her when she was 3 years old.”

Thomas Lott, former OU quarterback

“The man who taught me what true compassion was.”

Pete Martinelli, former OU strength coach

“A man who I'll never forget all the good times we had together and all the important lessons you taught me.”

Ken Mendenhall, former OU offensive lineman

“A coach who saw something in me as a player that I didn't see in myself.”

Kathy Miller, daughter

“My dad. I experienced four times how much you love me. The dedication in your book read, ‘My mother told me long ago that only when I had children of my own would I know the true meaning of the word love — only then, Greg, Kathy, and Doug, will you know how much I love you.' So dad, now I know how much you love me.”

Lolieta Miller, 2011 Special Olympics coach of the year

“The man who gives so much to our Special Olympics athletes. You are their biggest fan. You give the biggest smiles and the biggest hugs.”

Rex Norris, former OU defensive coordinator

“The coach who brought together the staff that became some of my everlasting best friends.”

Charley North, former OU assistant coach

“The guy that gave me the opportunity to coach college football and had faith in me. Love you like a brother.”

Tom Osborne, former Nebraska coach

“A competitor but still a good friend. The Nebraska-Oklahoma game was never a bitter rivalry, and this was due in large part to the fact that Barry and I were always able to keep the game in a proper perspective.”

Steve Owens, former OU running back

“The greatest. We came to OU the same year. I was in that first class you were there. You've made such a difference in my life. You made me a better football player and a better person.”

Tinker Owens, former OU receiver

“A great coach and a better friend who does so much for so many people.”

L.G. and Pat Parkhurst, parents of Special Olympics Oklahoma athlete, Jonathan

“The man who has touched our lives and our hearts. Thank you for inspiring our son to fulfill his dream of becoming a sports legend in Special Olympics.”

Jerry Pettibone, former OU assistant coach

“One of those five guys. My dad always said if you had five people in your life you could count on, always be there for you, it would be a blessing. Barry Switzer will always be one of those five guys for me.”

Bobby Proctor, former OU assistant coach

“The best coach I've ever been around, and I've worked with seven or eight different head coaches. You've always been great to me and my family. I appreciate it very much. You're No. 1.”

Jeanie Richie, 17-year season ticket holder from Wichita Falls, Texas

“The man that made everyone believe in magic — Sooner Magic. Hoping to see OU hang half a hundred in Lubbock for the coach who made football magical for the fans.”

Anthony Rodrock, Special Olympics Oklahoma athlete from Collinsville

“A man who inspires others to do great things. Thank you for all you do.”

Deion Sanders, former Dallas Cowboy cornerback

“The best head coach I ever played for, professional-wise. I remember the look on his face in the last game that I knew he was gonna coach the Cowboys. I'll never forget that look and the pain and anguish I had because I knew that was it.”

Jakie Sandifer, former OU halfback

“My friend. I've never known anybody to be so nice as Barry Switzer is to everyone. He goes out of his way to do things for other people.”

Caleb Seabolt, OU and Dallas fan from Roland

“The Bootlegger's Boy. Coach Switzer is the only reason I root for a Texas team. Go Cowboys and Boomer Sooner!”

Dewey Selmon, former OU defensive lineman

“One of a kind. You have been by my side, and my brothers', for more than 40 years through thick and thin, ups and down, joys and sorrows.”

Lucious Selmon, former OU defensive lineman

“A great friend and a great ambassador for the state of Oklahoma. Hope you are having a great day and will have many more.”

Matt Sharp, OU fan from Pryor

“A coach who has provided me with so many great OU memories. I have admired what you have done on and off the football field.”

Darrell Shepard, former OU quarterback

“Coach. I remember back in 1977 you told me if I came to Oklahoma University I would become an All American. Needless to say, I didn't take your advice. What a big mistake. God bless.”

Travis Simpson, former OU offensive lineman

“The coach who gave me the unbelievable opportunity to play at such a storied university.”

Lee Allan Smith, longtime friend and business partner

“A caring and loyal person. He does more for people than anybody ever knows about. High places, low places, you name it. Very supportive. A friend is a friend forever. He'll never forget ‘em.”

Bob Stoops, OU coach

“The King. With an exclamation point. Two of ‘em. No, three, since he got three national championships. He's the best.”

Greg Switzer, son

“The man who shares the same birthday with me. I love you very much. I know I'm loved. You mean a lot to me as a loving person and a role model as far as how you treat people, as far as being down to Earth. I have a lot of those same qualities, I'm glad you instilled them in me, to treat people good.”

Don Switzer, brother

“The guy who has the biggest heart of any brother that any man ever had. He and I have been closer than most brothers over one hell of a long time.”

Doug Switzer, son

“My dad. I still call him Daddy. He's always loved us, and anything we need, he jumps to the call. I think he's been good.”

Charles Thompson, former OU quarterback

“The man who certainly meant a lot to me during my time as a collegiate athlete. I devoted myself to youth football because of what he inspired in my life.”

Spencer Tillman, former OU quarterback

“The best ever. When we talk about coaches in our business at CBS, we like to talk about categories. We put people in classes. I just want you to know, Coach, you don't fit into a category. You create one.”

Billy Tubbs, former OU men's basketball coach

“My friend and favorite football coach ever. Welcome to the 75-and-over club.”

Bobby Warmack, former OU quarterback

“The man I have nothing but great admiration and respect for.”

Joe Washington, former OU running back

“A man that inspired respect and understood the importance of allowing each of us to maintain our individuality. No Barry Switzer, no Little Joe and no silver shoes.”

J.C. Watts, former OU quarterback

“The man that talked me out of leaving the team my freshman year and then created an air of expectancy in my life. Whether I've been in the ministry, politics, business or athletics, because of what Coach Switzer taught me, I have always expected to win.”

by Berry Tramel
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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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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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 Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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