Oklahoma Sooners baseball
|University||University of Oklahoma|
|Head Coach||Pete Hughes (1st year)|
|Home Stadium||L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park
|College World Series Appearances|
|1951, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2010|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1947, 1951, 1955, 1956, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
|Big 12: 1997, 2013|
|Big Eight: 1930, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1936, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1992, 1995|
The Oklahoma Baseball tradition is long and storied, with two National Championships in 1951 and 1994, along with numerous All-Americans. Dale Mitchell, Bobby Jack, Jackson Todd, Glen Castle, and Keith Drumright all include two-time All-Americans to play baseball for the University of Oklahoma Sooners baseball team. Their home field is L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park, named after famed player Dale Mitchell. The current coach is Sunny Golloway. The baseball program was a source of recent controversy when the head coach, Larry Cochell, resigned after making racially insensitive remarks about one of the players on the team.
During the 2005–2006 season, the Sooners were given a home regional at L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park and were named the No. 1 seed. They beat the University of Houston, Texas Christian University, and Wichita State University to win the regional and advanced to a Super Regional where they were defeated by Rice University in a best-of-three series. Oregon State University went on to win the College World Series that year.
Prior to 2006, the Sooners hosted regionals at minor league parks in Oklahoma City, first All Sports Stadium and then AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. Scheduling conflicts with the Oklahoma Redhawks, the Class AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers, led OU to bid for future regionals at its on-campus stadium.
- 1 History
- 2 L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park
- 3 Conference affiliations
- 4 Head coaches
- 5 Year-by-year NCAA Division I results
- 6 National championships
- 7 OU in the NCAA tournament
- 8 Player awards
- 9 See also
- 10 References
The early years
Unlike many programs, such as LSU and USC, Oklahoma did not lack consistency among the coaching ranks in the early to mid 1900s. Bennie Owen is credited as the first head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners baseball program. Owen's first season is listed as 1906 and his final season being 1922. Owen coached the Sooners for a total of 17 years, compiling an overall record of 142–102–4. In 1923 Bill Owen took over as head coach and remained in the position for 4 years. During his tenure the program had a .764 winning percentage with a record of 42–13. OU named Lawrence Haskell the third head coach in the programs history in 1927. He led the Sooners for 15 years, compiling an overall record of 176–74–2.
Jack Baer era
Jack Baer became the fourth head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners baseball program in 1942. The previous 4 years under Lawrence Haskell were very successful as Haskell finished with a .752 winning percentage. In his 10th year as coach though, Baer led the program to new heights claiming the 1951 National Championship, the first in baseball for the school. Baer would go on to coach the Sooners until 1967. During his 26 year tenure as coach, Baer amassed 281 victories, a .529 winning percentage, and still remains OU's longest tenured baseball coach.
Enos Semore era
Enos Semore replaced Jack Baer in 1968. Semore became the 5th head coach in the programs history, and led the program through some of its most successful years. During his 22 year tenure as coach, Semore's teams averaged 38.5 victories a year, while claiming 9 conference championships, and 2 conference tournament titles. Under his direction, the Sooners claimed 4 straight Big Eight titles while also making 5 consecutive trips to Omaha from 1972–1976. His 1976 squad set a school record that still stands today with 62 victories. The 851 victories he compiled while head coach of the Sooners still ranks first in the programs history. Semore retired after the 1989 season with a of 851–370–1 while at OU. Semore's career winning percentage of .697 ranks in the top 50 all-time in NCAA Division I history.
Larry Cochell era
After Enos Senmore called it quits, OU hired Stan Meek. Meek managed to survive only 1 season at OU. The 1990 Sooners baseball team finished 31–26 overall and failed to make the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament for the first time since 1983. To replace Meek, the Sooners traveled out west and hired Larry Cochell away from Cal. St. Fullerton. Cochell replaced legendary coach Augie Garrido at Fullerton when Garrido left for Illinois. During his 3 seasons at Fullerton, Cochell's teams went 109–68. Although Fullerton is widely considered one of the best baseball programs around, OU offered Cochell a financial package that he could not turn down. In 1991, Cochell became the 7th head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners baseball program.
Cochell wasted no time bringing the team back into the national spotlight. In his first year, Cochell led the team to an overall record of 40–23 and second place finish in the Big Eight. The Sooners earned a spot in post-season play, but were quickly eliminated. The Sooners went 0–2 in the 1991 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament, losing their second game to eventual National Champion LSU. The following year, the Sooners tied for the Big Eight conference championship, and once again were awarded with a spot in the post-season. The Sooners fared much better winning the NCAA Mideast Regional to earn their first trip to the College World Series since 1976. The Sooners tied for 5th in the 1992 College World Series winning 1 game and losing 2, but Cochell would use the 1992 season to catapult the Sooners to national prominence. The 1992 team finished the season 43–24 overall. After a rebuilding year 1993, Cochell was poised to return the program to glory.
1994 national championship
In 1994, Cochell entered his fourth season at the helm of the Sooner program. The Sooners breezed through the 1994 regular season with a record of 42–17. They also posted a 21–9 mark in conference play, but that was only good enough to finish second in the conference. The Sooners were placed in the NCAA Central Regional along with Arkansas St., Stanford, and Texas. In their first game of the regional, OU defeated Arkansas St. 10–3, setting up a second round game with Stanford. Once again OU had no trouble putting runs on the board, defeating Stanford 10–4. After winning their first two games, OU was in the driver's seat for the remainder of the regional. With a berth in the regional championship on the line, the Sooners delivered; they defeated Texas 15–4. Texas avoided elimination to set up a rematch with OU in the championship, but the result turned out the same. The Sooners claimed the Central Regional championship, defeating the Longhorns 6–3. The Sooners were on their way to Omaha, earning their 8th trip to the College World Series.
The Sooners were the No. 4 seed in the 1994 College World Series, which set up a first-round game with the No. 5 seed Auburn Tigers. OU continued their winning ways, defeating the Tigers 5–4. The win placed the Sooners in the winner's bracket and set up a second-round game against Arizona St. Arizona St. surprised top-seeded Miami in the opening round 4–0 to advance to the winner's bracket. OU once again won by a single run, 4–3, to advance to the semi-finals. After defeating Miami for a second game and eliminating the Hurricanes, the Sun Devils were looking for revenge, but the Sooners rose to the occasion. Oklahoma eliminated Arizona St., 6–1, to advance to the championship round. The Sooners played Georgia Tech for the championship, who had also won its first three games in Omaha that year. OU's bats came alive in the championship game as OU defeated the Yellow Jackets 13–5 to claim the second national title in school history. Cochell guided the Sooners to a 50–17 overall record after winning the CWS.
Retirement and legacy
On May 1, 2005 Cochell submitted his letter of resignation to Oklahoma. Cochell resigned after making racial remarks during two separate interviews. Cochell used racially insensitive remarks to describe Joe Dunigan III who was a freshman outfielder and is an African-American. The remarks were not during taped interviews, but were brought to the attention of the university by ESPN after the fact. Cochell would later issue a public statement in which he apologized for the remarks, and the Dunnigan family would later state they forgave Cochell.
Cochell was the keeper of the OU baseball program for nearly 15 full seasons. He led the program through one of most successful eras of its history, including leading OU to the 1994 championship, but his time at OU and legacy as a coach will always be tainted by the actions that caused him to retire.
All-in-all, Cochell coached for 39 seasons. During those seasons he coach at Emporia St. 1967–69, Creighton 70–71, Cal St. L.A. 72–76, Oral Roberts 77–86, Northwestern 87, Cal St. Fullerton 88–90, and Oklahoma 91-2005. He finished his coaching career with a .621 winning percentage and an overall record of 1,331–813–3.
Sunny Golloway era
Sonny Golloway was promoted from associate head coach to interim head coach on May 1, 2005 following the resignation of Larry Cochell. Golloway held the interim tag for the remainder of the 2005 season posting a 12–6 record. The Sooners earned an berth in the 2005 NCAA tournament, but were eliminated in the Oxford regional finals by Ole Miss. Following the 2005 season, the interim tag was removed from the title, and Golloway became head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners baseball program.
Prior to becoming head coach at OU, Golloway returned to Norman for his second stint with the Sooners Program. Golloway was an assistant coach under Cochell from 1992–1995 before leaving to become the head coach at Oral Roberts. Golloway would coach a total of 8 seasons at Oral Roberts posting a 335–156 record. Following the 2003 season, Golloway left Oral Roberts to return to Norman as associate head coach.
In his first full season as head coach of the Sooners, Golloway led the team to a 45–22 record overall. The 2006 team finished 3rd overall in the Big 12, and earned its second straight NCAA post-season berth. In the post-season, Oklahoma was awarded a host site for the regional round of the tournament. After losing their first game to TCU, the Sooners would win 4 straight to earn their first regional title since 1995 and a berth in the super regional round for the first time. Oklahoma traveled to Houston to face the Rice Owls, with the winner earning a berth in the 2006 College World Series. Rice won the first game, but OU was able to come back with a victory in game 2 to force a rubber game. Rice, the No. 2 overall seed that year, was just too much in the pivotal third game of the super regionals, and ended OU's season.
After a promising first full season as coach, expectations for Golloway were increasing. Unfortunately in 2007, the Sooners never lived up to their potential finishing the season 34–24. They failed to make the post-season, but Golloway was determined to keep the program moving in the right direction. The following year, the Sooners finished the season 36–26–1 overall, and once again earned a trip to the post-season. The Sooners would make it all the way to the Tempe regional finals, before coming up short against Arizona St. to end the 2008 season.
In his fourth full year as head coach at Oklahoma, Golloway was once again able to keep the program moving in the right direction. OU finished second in the Big 12 posting a 17–10 record in conference play, only a half game behind Texas for the regular season title. After earning the No. 2 seed in the 2009 Big 12 Baseball Tournament, the Sooners posted a disappointing 1–2 record in pool play. Following the Big 12 championship, the Sooners had a record of 41–18. Despite their poor performance in the Big 12 tournament, they were still rewarded with a host site and the No. 7 national seed in the 2009 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. After winning their first game in the Norman regional, the Sooners feel to Arkansas in the second round. The Sooners would bounce back and defeat Washington St. in an elimination, but once again lost to Arkansas. The Sooners finished the 2009 season 43–20.
In 2010, the Sooners finished 50–18. The team swept through their regional and won the super regional against the Virginia Cavaliers 2–1. The Super Regional was highlighted by Cody Reine who had back to back multi-homerun games in games 2 and 3. The Sooners earned their 10th appearance in the College World Series where they won their first game against the South Carolina Gamecocks 4–3. The Sooners then lost to the Clemson Tigers and then lost on a walk-off hit to the Gamecocks in a rematch.
L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park
L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park is a baseball stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. It is the home field for the University of Oklahoma Sooners college baseball team. It is named after the former OU player Dale Mitchell who holds OU's career and single-season batting records. The park was originally constructed at a cost of $1.27 million and was dedicated in 1982. After two renovations, the current capacity is 2,700 people.
The Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association was not officially renamed until 1964. In 1964 it became the Big Eight, but was nicknamed the Big Six and Big Seven prior to its official renaming.
- Southwest Conference (1914–1918)
- Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association/Big Six/Big Seven/Big Eight (1919–1996)
- Big 12 (1997 – present)
- Records are through the end of the 2009 Season
Year-by-year NCAA Division I results
Records taken from the 2009 Oklahoma Sooners baseball media guide page 127.