October 5, 1937 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||NCAA: 157–29–4 (.837)
NFL: 40–24 (.661)
NFL Playoffs: 5–2 (.714)
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
Super Bowl XXX
3 National (1974–1975, 1985)
12 Big Eight (1973–1980, 1984–1987)
Sporting News College Football COY (1973)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1974)
|College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2001 (profile)
Barry Switzer (born October 5, 1937) is a former football coach. He spent sixteen years as head coach of the University of Oklahoma and four years as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He has one of the highest winning percentages of any college football coach in history, and is one of only three head coaches to win both a college football national championship and a Super Bowl, the others being Jimmy Johnson and Pete Carroll.
Early life and career
Born in Crossett, Arkansas, to parents Frank and Mary Louise Switzer. Barry and his brother, Donnie, were raised by their mother following their father's supposed arrest for the illegal production and sale of alcohol until her death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on August 26, 1959.
University of Oklahoma
Following the 1966 season, Switzer moved to the University of Oklahoma as an assistant coach under new head coach and good friend, Jim Mackenzie. After Mackenzie died of a heart attack following spring practice of 1967, Switzer continued as an assistant under former University of Houston assistant and new Oklahoma head coach Chuck Fairbanks.
Switzer quickly made a name for himself by perfecting the wishbone offense and developing it into the most prolific rushing offense in college football history. Under Switzer's wishbone, the Sooners set an NCAA rushing record of 472 yards per game in 1971 and scored over 500 points in two different seasons, 1971 and 1986.
Switzer became head coach at Oklahoma in 1973, leading the team to undefeated seasons that year and the next. Oklahoma won national championships in 1974, 1975 and 1985 under Switzer's leadership. The team won or shared in the Big Eight Conference championship every year from 1973 to 1980. During his sixteen years as head coach at Oklahoma, his teams won eight of the thirteen post-season bowl games they played in, and 54 of his players were selected as All-Americans. In 1978, Billy Sims won the Heisman Trophy.
In 1983, Switzer was civilly prosecuted for illegal insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but defended himself as having innocently overheard the information while lounging on the bleacher behind some corporate insiders, and was found not guilty.
In 1989, Oklahoma was placed on probation by the NCAA  amidst several scandals involving Oklahoma players, including Charles Thompson's arrest for soliciting cocaine to undercover FBI agents. In that same year, after sixteen years as Oklahoma's head coach, Switzer chose to resign. Switzer succeeded in getting the better of several famous contemporaries, including a 12–5 mark against Tom Osborne, 5–3 against Jimmy Johnson, 3–0 against Bobby Bowden, and 1–0 against Joe Paterno, Bo Schembechler, and Woody Hayes. Along with Bennie Owen, Bud Wilkinson, and Bob Stoops, he is one of four coaches to win over 100 games at the University of Oklahoma. No other college football program has more than three coaches to accomplish such a feat.
Switzer resurfaced in coaching in 1994 with the Dallas Cowboys. Switzer stepped in following the departure of Jimmy Johnson, who as head coach had won the previous two Super Bowls. Johnson had clashed with owner Jerry Jones (leading to his departure) and many felt that Switzer was more apt to go along with Jones' ideas. Switzer was successful with the Cowboys, going 12–4 his first season in 1994 (losing to the 49ers in the NFC Championship). However, in the game he was criticized for making two critical errors. In the first half, with the Cowboys down 24-14, he opted not to run out the clock, giving the 49ers a chance to score one last touchdown before the half ended. Later, in the fourth quarter, with the Cowboys still down 38-28 and trying to rally, he was penalized for running into an official after a pass interference call was missed. This ended the Cowboys' chances of a comeback. In Switzer's second season of 1995, the team went 12–4. Dallas won Super Bowl XXX over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27–17, making Switzer one of only three coaches to win a college national championship and a Super Bowl (the others being Jimmy Johnson and Pete Carroll). Switzer resigned as Cowboys' coach after a 6–10 1997 season with a 40–24 career NFL coaching record.
In August 1997, Switzer was arrested after a loaded .38-caliber revolver was found in his luggage at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Switzer, who was returning to the team's training camp facility in Austin, said there were children at his Dallas home and he put the gun in his bag to hide it from them. He said he accidentally forgot to remove the gun from the bag before heading to the airport. Switzer pled guilty, was fined $3,500, and was given one year deferred adjudication. Two days later, he was fined $75,000 by Jones. After a disappointing 6-10 season in 1997, Switzer resigned as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Switzer was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004, he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award. Switzer still resides in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife Becky. In August 2007, XMSN added Barry Switzer as a part of the channel's expanded college sports coverage. On September 9, 2007 Barry Switzer joined the FOX NFL Pregame show. Switzer also guest-starred in an episode of TNT's Saving Grace titled "Do You Love Him?", which first aired August 11, 2008 and received sub-par reviews. As a color commentator, Barry Switzer is known for his insightful football knowledge stemming from his career as a head coach. In 2006, Barry and good friend Toby Keith helped found First Liberty Bank in Oklahoma City. He also owns Switzer's Locker Room and a number of other small businesses in the Norman area.
Switzer made it clear his choice of quarterback was based on race, rather than ability, saying:
“I’ve always said I’d never recruit a white quarterback. The only way I’d ever recruit a white quarterback to play for me is if his mom and daddy would both have to be black, and that’s the only way I would do it."
Head coaching record
|Oklahoma Sooners (Big Eight Conference) (1973–1988)|
|1988||Oklahoma||9–3||6–1||2nd||L Florida Citrus||14||14|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
National Football League
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|DAL||1994||12||4||0||.750||1st in NFC East||1||1||.500||Lost to the San Francisco 49ers in NFC Championship Game.|
|DAL||1995||12||4||0||.750||1st in NFC East||3||0||1.000||Won Super Bowl XXX.|
|DAL||1996||10||6||0||.625||1st in NFC East||1||1||.500||Lost to the Carolina Panthers in NFC Divisional Round.|
|DAL||1997||6||10||0||.375||4th in NFC East||-||-||-|
- "Switzer Is Honored To Be Inducted". The New York Times. August 10, 2002. Retrieved April 17, 2007
- "Barry Switzer". The Arkansas Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved April 17, 2007.
- "Oklahoma Yearly Totals". Cfbdatawarehouse.com. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- Oklahoma has paid the price for anything goes, Sports Illustrated, 27 February 1989, retrieved 19 January 2009.
- By MIKE FREEMANPublished: August 05, 1997 (1997-08-05). "Switzer Arrested on Gun Charge". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- "Switzer enters guilty plea to gun charge 12/3/97 | Amarillo.com | Amarillo Globe-News". Amarillo.com. 1997-12-03. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- "Switzer out as Dallas coach Speculation centers on Seifert as next Cowboys field boss". The Baltimore Sun. 1998-01-10. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
- "College Football Kicks Off on XM Satellite Radio with the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC" (Press release). XM Satellite Radio. 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
- Barry Switzer Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com
- Barry Switzer at the College Football Data Warehouse
- Voices of Oklahoma interview with Barry Switzer. First person interview conducted with Barry Switzer. Original audio and transcript archived with Voices of Oklahoma oral history project.