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Oklahoma baseball: Could OU go after Dallas Baptist's Dan Heefner?

Dan Heefner became Dallas Baptist's head coach in 2007, and quickly led the Patriots to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in his inaugural season. Arkansas associate head coach Todd Butler was also considered a strong contender for the OU job, but has reportedly taken the Wichita State job.
by Jason Kersey Published: June 15, 2013
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photo - Dallas Baptist coach Dan Heefner, right, holds a press conference Wednesday, June 8, 2011 in Dallas. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)
Dallas Baptist coach Dan Heefner, right, holds a press conference Wednesday, June 8, 2011 in Dallas. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

Regardless of who Oklahoma ultimately hires, that coach will take over a strong program on solid ground, something that couldn't have been said for the OU squad Golloway inherited in 2005.

Under previous coach Larry Cochell, Oklahoma won the 1994 national title and made three College World Series appearances. But after the Big 12 Conference was formed, the Sooners struggled to remain on that elite level.

From 2001 through 2004 — Cochell's last four full seasons — Oklahoma never reached 40 wins, and finished two of those seasons with losing records.

The Sooners were reeling through another rough season — 23-20 overall, 7-11 in Big 12 play — when Cochell resigned amid controversy over racially insensitive comments.

Golloway took over as interim coach and led the Sooners to a strong finish that included an NCAA Tournament appearance.

But after the season, Castiglione introduced longtime Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson as Cochell's permanent replacement. Stephenson announced only hours later, though, that he would remain with the Shockers.

Three days later, Golloway's interim tag was lifted, and Oklahoma's baseball program began a steady climb back toward prominence.

The Sooners missed the NCAA Tournament just once during Golloway's tenure, and reached the 2010 College World Series.

During the 2013 season, OU won its first Big 12 Tournament title since 1997, finished with a 43-21 record — the program's fifth straight 40-win season — and reached the Baton Rouge Super Regional, where the Sooners lost to LSU last weekend.

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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