Imagine the following situation: Oklahoma State announces a new project for its athletic village. They announce that they will begin building a new park where the old practice field was. In this park, will be bronze statues, forever immortalizing the legendary people in Oklahoma State's history. It will not be just of athletes that have conquered the fields and courts of the athletic village, but also the alumni who walked its halls before going on to greatness.
But what will the requirements be to become a part of this walk of legends past? Will it consist of the people who were the best within Oklahoma State's history? Or perhaps those who were the best at what they did? Perhaps we'd go the Baylor route and build one to the first player to make their football team relevant. We failed to make the decision as to what it should be so we'll just add some parameters to being considered. 1) Must have been considered great in a national perspective. 2) Must be retired. And 3) must be well liked by the fan based. We will list off a max of two persons per sport and then it will be up to you to decide who makes the cut.
So let's get this list started:
Barry Sanders - Duh. 2,850 total yards, 37 rushing touchdowns, dozens of broken record, one Heisman trophy. His 1988 season is heralded as the greatest ever in the history of college football. He then went on to the pros to rush for 15,269 yards, 99 rushing touchdowns, 10 receiving touchdowns, 10 time Pro-bowler, win the 1997 MVP award, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2004.
Bob Fenimore - The Blonde Bomber. Let's go back to the days of leather-heads. Before the school became Oklahoma State, there was Bob Fenimore. In 1945, he led the nation in rushing and set the school record for career interceptions (a still standing record at 18) all on the way to leading Oklahoma A&M to its only 9-0 undefeated season. He was then drafted 1st overall by the Chicago Bears in the 1947 draft.
Potential Future Pick: Mike Gundy - He can't be considered right now because he's still active but don't let him slip by the wayside. He's earned his way to this spot by being the Big 8's leading passer and then going on to be Oklahoma State's winningest head coach ever. Take your pick.
Henry P. Iba - The one they still refer to as Mr. Iba. Mr. Iba is considered to be one of the greatest coaches and pioneers of college basketball. He was the first recorded coach to ever lead a team to back-to-back national championships (Oklahoma A&M 1945-1946). During his tenure at Oklahoma A&M, he captured 655 wins, making him the school's all-time winningest coach. He also led three Olympic team and was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Surely deserving of a spot on this list.
Bob Kurland - The Gamechanger. Widely believed to be the first effective 7 footer in basketball. He was so much of a force that a rule was added to compensate for his advantage: goaltending. Kurland was a 2 time NCAA Champion, 3 time All-American, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist, and was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Potential Future Pick: Eddie Sutton. Too recent to be fully considered without bias. Played under Mr. Iba, 2nd winningest coach in OSU history, 8th in total wins all time (Iba is 12th). 2 Final Four runs, 4 time Coach of the Year, and an inductee to the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Is it enough? I think so but my first memory of college basketball was the '04 run so I am very partial to him.
Edward C. Gallagher - The Maestro of the Mat. Ed Gallagher was the man who started it all. The inaugural coach for Cowboy Wrestling led the team to an unbelievable 136-5-4 (.952) record as well as 11 National Championship. He started the dynasty of domination that is Oklahoma State Wrestling.
Potential Future Pick: John Smith - The only reason he isn't up for consideration is because he is still active as the head coach of the wrestling team. He is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time on every level: high school, college, national, and Olympic. Keep his spot reserved.
Pete Incaviglia - The Home-Run King. Forever known as one of the greatest power hitters in College Baseball, Incaviglia amassed 100 home-runs in his three seasons at Oklahoma State and a career slugging percentage of .915. He also became the record holder for all-time career home runs and home runs in a season while leading the team to three consecutive College World Series appearances. He was also nominated to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Gary Ward - 16 Straight. Ward was the coach of the team during the golden age of Cowboy Baseball. With a record of 953-313-1, 18 40-win seasons, 12 top-ten finishes, and 17 Big Eight titles, featuring 16 IN A ROW from 1980-1996, Ward was one of the most decorate of Oklahoma State's prestigious coaches.
Potential Future Pick: Robin Ventura - Again, not up for consideration due to the fact that he is still the manager for the Chicago White Sox. During his time playing at Oklahoma State, he smashed dozens of school and NCAA records on his way to the pros. He was also a part of the Gold Medal winning 1988 Olympic team before becoming an 2 time All-Star and 6 time Golden Glove winner.
T. Boone Pickens - The Super Booster. His name's on the geology school and the stadium, has donated so much money that it can be measured in oodles, what more does he need?
Garth Brooks - The Country Music Legend. The best selling album artist and second best selling solo artist (behind Elvis) came to Oklahoma State on a Track and Field Scholarship as a javelin thrower and graduated with an advertising degree. His roommate became his lead guitarist before going on to being a solo artist.
So who makes your list? Who did we forget? Let us know in the comments and Go Pokes!