Our most honored guests
These are players and coaches who distinguished themselves with their achievements after participating in the Oil Bowl game.
Jack Crain (Nocona; 1938)
“Jackrabbit” Crain was a two-time All-American running back at the University of Texas and finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior year. After graduation, he served four terms as state representative for District 61 in Texas.
Hub Bechtol (Lubbock; 1943)
As an end at Texas in 1944, 1945 and 1946, Bechtol became the first Southwest Conference player to become a three-time All-American. In 1946 Cotton Bowl, he was on the receiving end of nine of Bobby Layne’s completions in a 40-27 win over Missouri. Played three seasons with the Baltimore Colts.
Bobby Layne (Highland Park; 1944)
Layne is a member of both the College Football and Pro Football hall of fames. Set 11 passing records as a quarterback at Texas and led the Longhorns to a 10-1-0 record his senior year. Led the Detroit Lions to NFL titles in 1952 and 1953 and quarterbacked the Pittsburgh Steelers to an NFL championship in 1957.
Dick Harris (Wichita Falls; 1945)
Played both center and guard at Texas and joined Bobby Layne as the only Longhorns to win All-Southwest Conference honors four times. Was first-round draft pick of Chicago Bears in 1949.
Lindy Berry (Wichita Falls; 1946)
An All-American quarterback at TCU his senior season, Berry was a key player for the Frogs for four years. He was All-Southwest Conference as a junior and senior. As a sophomore, he led the nation in punt returns with 494 yards and as a junior was fourth in the nation in total offense.
Hayden Fry (Odessa; 1947)
Although he was a good college quarterback at Baylor, Fry made his name as a college coach. He was head coach at SMU, North Texas an Iowa. At SMU, he signed the first African American recruit in Southwest Conference history, Jerry Levias. He coached 20 seasons at Iowa and retired with 232 Division I victories.
Bud McFadin (Iraan; 1947)
Played offensive guard and defensive tackle for Texas from 1948 through 1950 and made All-American both ways and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Was the MVP of the Chicago Tribune All-Star Game after his senior year and played professionally for the Rams, Broncos and Oilers.
Billy Howton (Plainview; 1948)
After playing college football at Rice, Howton spent 12 seasons in the NFL with Green Bay, Cleveland and Dallas. A four-time Pro Bowler, he caught 503 for 8,459 yards and 61 TDs.
Byron Townsend (Odessa; 1948)
An All-Southwest Conference running back at Texas in 1950 Ran for 105 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee in the 1951 Cotton Bowl.
Eddie Crowder (Muskogee; 1949)
An All-American quarterback and safety for Oklahoma for 1950-52 and was a member of OU’s first national championship team in 1959. Drafted by the New York Giants but a nerve injury in his throwing arm prevented him from having an NFL career. Instead, he went into coaching and became head coach and later athletic director at Colorado.
Buck McPhail (Oklahoma City; 1949)
In 1951, McPhail was an All-American at OU as he and Heisman Trophy winner Billy Vessels made up one of the greatest rushing tandems of all-time. McPhail set a national collegiate record that year by averaging 8.56 yards per rush. Drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1953.
Billy Bookout (Wichita Falls; 1950)
An All-Big Seven cornerback at Oklahoma before finishing his college career as a Little All-American at Austin College. Played for the Green Bay Packers before starting a coaching career. Was the first head football coach at L.D. Bell High School in Hurst and later coached at nearby Trinity High School.
Max Boydston (Muskogee; 1951)
A three-time all-conference receiver for Oklahoma in 1952, 1953 and 1954. Played seven NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears, Dallas Texans and Oakland Raiders.
Preston Carpenter (Muskogee; 1952)
A great receiver at Arkansas who was a chosen on the Razorbacks all-decade team of the 1950’s. He played 13 seasons in the NFL and was a Pro Bowler with the Steelers in 1962.
Bobby Boyd (Garland; 1956)
Played on three OU teams from 1957 through 1959 that went 27-5. Was an all-conference quarterback in 1959 but converted to defense in the NFL and played nine seasons in the Baltimore Colts’ secondary and had 57 interceptions.
Edwin “Wahoo” McDaniel (Midland; 1956)
Played three season on OU’s line but made a name for himself later in professional wrestling. Wahoo became a legend in professional wrestling in a career that spanned from 1966 to 1993.
Ronnie Bull (Bishop; 1958)
Bull was a star running back at Baylor before spending nine of 10 NFL seasons with the George Halas’ Chicago Bears. In 10 years, he had 4,701 rushing-receiving yards as a pro.
Don Trull (Tulsa; 1959)
Trull was a three-time All-American quarterback at Baylor in 1961, 1962 and 1963, leading the NCAA in pass completions his junior and senior seasons. Played with the Houston Oilers from 1964 through 1969.
Dave Parks (Abilene; 1960)
An All-American receiver for Texas Tech in 1963 and the No. 1 draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1964.
Scott Appleton (Brady; 1960)
And outstanding defensive tackle that helped Texas win a national championship in 1963. Won the Outland Trophy that year and was the defensive MVP in a 28-0 Cotton Bowl victory over second-ranked Navy. He had 12 tackles and a sack of Roger Staubach in that game. Was drafted No. 1 by both the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers, but played for the Oilers in the AFL.
Mickey Maroney (Wichita Falls; 1963)
After playing for Wichita Falls High School’s undefeated state championship team in 1961, Maroney went to the University of Arkansas and played for the Razorbacks’ national championship team of 1964. He joined the Secret Service in 1971 and protected several U.S. presidents. Maroney was killed in the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
Bob Kalsu (Del City; 1963)
Kalsu was an All-American offensive tackle for Oklahoma in 1967 and went on to play for the Buffalo Bills. But Kalsu was more than a football player — he was a true American hero who gave his life for his country. He was the only professional athlete killed in Vietnam.
Chris Gilbert (Houston Spring Branch; 1965)
At Texas, Gilbert became the first back in college football history to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons. A consensus All-American and eighth in Heisman Trophy voting his senior year.
Jerry Levias (Beaumont; 1965)
The first black scholarship athlete in the history of the Southwest Conference, Levias set records at SMU for receptions in one game (15); in one season (80); in a career (155) and most receiving yards in a season (1,131) and career (2,275). NFL rookie of the year for the Houston Oilers in 1969. A 2004 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Bill Bradley (Palestine; 1965)
This great high school quarterback made the transition to defense under Darrell Royal at Texas and went on to become a great defensive back with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL.
Steve Owens (Miami, Okla; 1966)
A Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma in 1969 after leading the nation in rushing with 1,523 yards and 23 touchdowns. Scored 56 TDs in three years with the Sooners. Once had a string of 17 straight 100-yard rushing games. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
James Street (Longview; 1966)
Never lost a game as a starting quarterback for Texas. Street won the last nine games with the Longhorns in 1968 and then led them to an 11-0 national championship season in 1969.
Chuck Hixson (San Antonio; 1966)
As a quarterback at SMU, Hixson led the nation in passing his sophomore season of 1968. He is the Mustangs’ career leader in passing yards (7,179), completions (642) and touchdown passes (40).
Ken Mendenhall (Enid; 1966)
Devastating one-on-one blocker who made All-American at OU in 1969 and cleared the path to the Heisman Trophy for Steve Owens.
Riley Odoms (Corpus Christi; 1968)
Odoms was a four-time Pro Bowler in his 12 years as a tight end with the Denver Broncos. Played in Super Bowl XII for the Broncos lost 27-10 to the Dallas Cowboys.
Jack Mildren (Abilene Cooper; 1968)
Mildren was an All-American quarterback for OU’s wishbone offense that led the nation in rushing, total offense and scoring in 1971. Went on to play for the Baltimore Colts and served as lieutenant governor for the state of Oklahoma from 1990 to 1994.
Jerry Sisemore (Plainview; 1969)
This College Football Hall of Famer was an All-American offensive tackle who helped Texas win three straight Southwest Conference championships. He was the third selection in the 1972 NFL Draft and had a 12-year Pro Bowl career with the Eagles.
Lucious Selmon (Eufaula; 1970)
The oldest of the Selmon brothers was a two-time All-American defensive tackle in 1972 and 1973 and played on three OU teams that had a combined 32-2-1 record and won a national title in 1973. Served as an assistant coach for the Sonners from 1976 to 1994.
Mike Thomas (Greenville; 1971)
Played six NFL seasons with the Redskins and Chargers, making the Pro Bowl in 1976 after rushing for 1,101 yards with Washington. Ran for 2,826 yards in his first three NFL seasons.
Randy Hughes (Tulsa Memorial; 1971)
Intercepted five passes and returned them 165 yards during Oklahoma’s national championship season of 1973 and was an All-American safety for the Sooners in 1974. Drafted in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys in 1975, Hughes played six seasons in the NFL and appeared in three Super Bowls.
Tinker Owens (Miami, Okla; 1972)
He followed the large footsteps of his Heisman Trophy-winner brother Steve to OU but quickly made a name for himself with a 132-yard MVP performance in the Sugar Bowl his freshman year. Was twice an All-American receiver for the Sooners. Played four NFL seasons with the Saints.
Dewey Selmon (Eufaula; 1972)
In his three years as a starting tackle at Oklahoma, the Sooners went 32-1-1 and won two national championships. Had triple figures in tackles (104 and 123) his junior and senior seasons.
Lee Roy Selmon (Eufaula; 1972)
Won the Outland and Lombardi awards his senior year at Oklahoma and started with his brother Dewey on three teams that went 32-1-1 and won two national titles. Is a member of both the college and pro football hall of fames. Played nine years with the Tampa Bay Bucs and was All-Pro three times.
Steve Largent (Putnam City; 1972)
A Pro Football Hall of Famer who held six career pass receiving records when he retired from the NFL. He had the most receptions (819), most consecutive games with a reception (177), most yards on receptions (13,089), most receptions for TDs (100), most seasons with 50 or more receptions (10) and most seasons with 1,000 yards or more in receptions (8). Played in seven Pro Bowls and was All-Pro three times.
Pat Ryan (Putnam City; 1973)
Even though he was a good high school and college quarterback (Tennessee), Ryan made the biggest splash in professional football. He played 13 years in the NFL, 12 of them with the New York Jets. His best season was 1984 when he passed for nearly 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Wilson Whitley (Brenham; 1973)
Whitley won the Lombardi Award while playing for the University of Houston in 1976. Played six years with the Cincinnati Bengals, including the 1981 season when the Bengals lost to the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.
Zac Henderson (Burkburnett; 1974)
Henderson was a four-year starter at safety for Oklahoma and tied the single-season interception record with seven in 1977. That year he was named the nation’s most outstanding defensive back. Played for the Eagles in the NFL and also played in the CFL, where he was once the defensive player of the year, and the USFL.
Mike Renfro (Fort Worth Arlington Heights; 1974)
Renfro was a three-time All-Southwest Conference receiver at TCU who went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, all in Texas. He played six years for the Houston Oilers and four years for the Dallas Cowboys, finishing with 323 catches for 4,708 yards.
Art Briles (Rule; 1974)
Briles was one of the few Class B high school players who went on to start at a major college. After playing for University of Houston from 1974-77, he made a name for himself in coaching, most notably at Stephenville High School, where he won four state championships in 12 years there. He is currently the head coach at the Baylor University.
Kenny King (Clarendon; 1975)
After playing for OU in 1976-78, King played seasons in the NFL — six with the Raiders. He was a Pro Bowl running back in 1980.
Rick Berns (Wichita Falls; 1975)
Set a school single-game record with 36 carries for 255 yards while playing running back at Nebraska. Inducted into the Cornhusker Hall of Fame in 1992 after running for 2,449 yards and 28 touchdowns in three college seasons. Won a Super Bowl championship ring with the Raiders when they beat Washington 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.
J.C. Watts (Eufaula; 1976)
Played quarterback at OU for three seasons in which the Sooners went 32-4. But he made a name for himself in politics, serving four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1999, he served as chairman of the House Republican Conference, making him the fourth ranking Republican in the House at the time.
Ray Berry (Abilene Cooper; 1982)
This hard-nosed Baylor linebacker played seven solid NFL seasons, six of them with the Minnesota Vikings.
Ray Crockett (Duncanville; 1985)
After playing college football at Baylor, Crockett played 14 seasons in the NFL and amassed 647 tackles and 36 interceptions. He started at safety on the Denver Broncos’ back-to-back Super Bowl championship seasons of 1997 and 1998.
James Dixon (Vernon; 1985)
After setting several receiving records catching passes in the University of Houston’s heralded run-and-shoot offense, Dixon started two seasons (1989 and 1990) for the Dallas Cowboys. Holds the Cowboys’ all-time record for the most receiving yards in one game by a rookie — 203 against the Cardinals.
Randy Gatewood (Wichita Falls Hirschi; 1991)
As a senior at Nevada-Las Vegas in 1995, Gatewood finished second in the NCAA Division I in receptions (88) and fifth in yards (1,203). He set an NCAA single-game record with 23 receptions and 363 yards against Nevada in 1994. From there, he became one of the top receivers in the Arena League playing for the Arizona Rattlers.
Aaron Taylor (Wichita Falls Rider; 1993)
Played both guard and center for three national championship teams in four years at Nebraska. An All-American and the Outland Trophy winner as college football’s best lineman in 1997.
Skip Hicks (Burkburnett; 1993)
Set a school record at UCLA by running for 55 career touchdowns. Was the sixth all-time leading rusher in UCLA history with 3,373 yards and earned All-American honors his senior year (1997). Was the first player drafted by the Washington Redskins in 1998.
Frank Middleton (Beaumont Westbrook; 1993)
After playing college football at Arizona, Middleton has played eight seasons in the NFL. Started all 16 games in the offensive line for Oakland when the Raiders won the AFC and went to the Super Bowl in 2002.
Phil Dawson (Lake Highlands; 1993)
As a kicker, Dawson led the University of Texas in scoring for three straight seasons (1994-96), amassing 243 points. Currently kicking for the Cleveland Browns.
Kris Brown (Southlake Carroll; 1995)
Was the Nebraska kicker for four years and left as the Cornhuskers all-time leading scorer and the seventh leading scorer in NCAA history with 388 points. Set numerous kicking records at Nebraska, including making 57 of 77 field goals. Currently kicking for the Houston Texans.
R.W. McQuarters (Tulsa Washington; 1995)
An outstanding kick returner and defensive back at Oklahoma State, McQuarters a seven-year NFL veteran now playing for the New York Giants.
Rashaun Wood (OKC Millwood; 1999)
An All-American wide receiver at Oklahoma State, who caught 293 passes for 4,404 yards and 42 touchdowns for the Cowboys. Was the first round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2004.
Jason White (Tuttle; 1999)
Despite coming off major surgeries on both knees, White had an incredible junior season at Oklahoma and won the Heisman Trophy in 2003. He completed 278 of 451 passes (61 percent) for 3,846 yards and 40 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 158.11.
Jess Neely (Rice; 1941)
Coached college football for 40 years and had a 207-176-19 record. Spent 27 of those years at Rice where he won four Southwest Conference championships and took the Owls to seven bowl games. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
Dutch Meyer (TCU; 1942)
A College Football Hall of Fame coach who tutored quarterbacks Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien while at TCU. Coached TCU to a national title in 1938.
Homer Norton (Texas A&M; 1943-46)<br /> Coached Texas A&M to a national title in 1939. That year the Aggies outscored the opposition 198-18 in 10 games and edged Tulane 14-13 in the Sugar Bowl. Was 82-53-9 at A&M from 1934 to 1947. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
Matty Bell (SMU; 1943)
This native of Haskell, Texas, coached SMU to a co-national championship and a Rose Bowl berth in 1935; finished with 153 victories and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955.
Blair Cherry (Texas; 1944)
He coached Amarillo High School to three straight state championships in 1934, 1935 and 1936 and 84-5 in seven seasons with the Sandies. Joined Dana X Bible’s staff at the University of Texas where he coached Tom Landry and Bobby Layne and became one of the pioneers of the T-formation. Later became head coach of the Longhorns and was 32-10-1 in four seasons.
Bobby Dodd (Georgia Tech; 1944)
Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993 after leading Georgia Tech to a 165-64-8 record in 22 seasons. Once had a 31-game win streak and an eight-game bowl win streak.
Joe Golding (Wichita Falls; 1947-48-49-50-51)
Coached in five Oil Bowls during his 15 years at Wichita Falls High School. Golding had a record of 152-22-2 and won four state championships with the Coyotes. He was also instrumental in building the Memorial Stadium that the game is now played in.
Gil Steinke (Texas A&I; 1960-67)
Coaches 23 years at Texas A&I in Kingsville and won six national championship in NAIA Division I. His record was 182-61-4. Was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996, one year after his death.
Grant Teaff (Baylor; 1964-71)
Was the head coach at McMurry and then Angelo State in his two Oil Bowls, but Teaff went on to make a name for himself at Baylor. The Bears were 7-43 in the five years before Teaff took over, but he won two Southwest Conference titles there and took them to eight bowl games. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Gordon Wood (Brownwood; 1977-85)
The legendary Texas high school coach won nine state championships, seven of those in his 26 seasons with Brownwood. Wood’s coaching record from 1949 through 1985 was 396-91-15 .
Charlie Johnston (Childress; 1978)
Retired as the third winningest coach in Texas high school history with a 314-94-8 overall record in 36 years at Childress High School. First winner of the prestigious Tom Landry Award given by the Texas High School Coaches Association.
Larry Coker (Claremore; 1978)
Went from high school coaching in Oklahoma to a long career as a college assistant coach before finally getting a chance to be a college head coach in 2001 at the University of Miami. Led the Hurricanes to a national championship his first season and posted a 35-3 record with three straight Bowl Championship Series appearances in his first three years.
Joe Bob Tyler (Wichita Falls; 1979-85)
Was the first Texan to both play and coach in the Oil Bowl. Inducted into the athletic hall of fame at Northeast Louisiana University. Was the first head football coach at Wichita Falls Rider High School and went from there to Haltom High School and Wichita Falls High School. Considered one of the great single wing coaches of all-time.
Dub Largin (Wichita Falls Hirschi; 1981)
Worked an assistant on head coach Jess Stiles first staff at Wichita Falls Hirschi and later served under Glen Johnson before serving at the Huskies’ head coach for a dozen seasons. His teams won six district titles and were 33-8-3 in his last four years.
G.A. Moore (Pilot Point; 1982)
The winningest coach in Texas high school history, Moore’s current record is 422-86-9. He has coached at Bryson, Sherman, Celina and Pilot Point.
Chuck Curtis (Cleburne; 1983)
Curtis won three straight high school state championships in the 1960s. He coached Jacksboro to the Class 2A state tilte in 1962 and then coached Garland to back-to-back titles in 1963 and 1964. A 2007 inductee into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, he was a star quarterback at TCU before beginning his coaching career. In the 1957 Cotton Bowl, Curtis threw two touchdown passes and ran for another TD to lead the Horned Frogs to a 28-27 win over Jim Brown and Syracuse.
Homer Johnson (Garland 1993)
Johnson was on the coaching staff of one of the most talented Oil Bowl teams Texas has ever produced.Nine players off that team went on to play in the NFL following their 23-14 win over Oklahoma.Johnson just completed his 60th year working for the Garland Independent School District.A 1945 graduate of Garland High School, Johnson played football at Texas A&M and North Texas State before coming home to take his first coaching job as an assistant under Jerry Sellers in 1948. At the time, the 20-year-old backfield coach was the youngest assistant in Texas.Johnson took over as head coach at Garland in 1958 — again, at 29, the youngest head football coach in Texas at the highest classification. He directed the Owls to their first district title in that classification in 1960.At 34, Johnson took over as athletic director for the Garland school system and has been on that job now for 46 years.
He is a member of the Garland Sports Hall of Fame; the Texas High School Football Coaches Hall of Honor; the Texas Athletic Directors Hall of Honor and the Texas Football Hall of Fame.