OU unveils Barry Switzer statue

OKLAHOMA FOOTBALL — The University of Oklahoma unveiled a statue of former Sooner coach Barry Switzer on Saturday. The statue sits next to other statues of OU coaching legends Bennie Owen and Bud Wilkinson.
by Michael Baldwin Published: November 5, 2011
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The man has more than his share of championship rings

but those who know him it is the joy of his personality that he brings.

So as we prepare to unveil his statue and make merry

let's all stand and salute a great coach and better friend named Barry.

Former Switzer players, assistant coaches, his wife, two sons, daughter and nine grandchildren, who call him “Grumpy,” attended Saturday's ceremony.

“Years after they left this campus he'd give his players the shirt off his back if they needed it,” said OU president David Boren. “That's Barry Switzer. That's the great heart he has. It's not just because of his strategic grasp of football but it's also because every player knew he loved them.”

Neinas for years helped connect schools with football coaches and athletic directors, including bringing Bob Stoops and Joe Castiglione to OU.

“Barry asked me one time if I would serve as a character witness for him,” Neinas said. “I said, “Barry, that's the easiest job I've ever had. Everyone knows you're a character.' Barry brings joy wherever he is... a friend to the world. Arkansas born and bred but now he is Oklahoma red.”

The statue is of Switzer is from his early years as head coach.

“I had so many family members in town I was a nervous wreck just trying to get everything organized the past few days,” Switzer said. “Once we got here, settled down and the ceremony got started I realized how special a day it is.”

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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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