Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School (Oklahoma)

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Bishop McGuinness Catholic
High School
BMCHS logo.png
Fides et Scientia
Faith and Knowledge
801 Northwest 50th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118
United States
Coordinates 35°31′23″N 97°31′34″W / 35.52306°N 97.52611°W / 35.52306; -97.52611Coordinates: 35°31′23″N 97°31′34″W / 35.52306°N 97.52611°W / 35.52306; -97.52611
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1950
Founder Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma
Principal/President David Morton
Grades 912
Enrollment 700 [1]
Color(s) Kelly Green and White         
Mascot Clancy
Team name The Irish
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Newspaper Chi Rhoan
Graduates c. 8,000
Athletic Director Gary Savely

Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School (McGuinness) is a college-preparatory secondary school located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. It has an enrollment of 720 students in grades 9 through 12,[3] is co-educational, and serves as part of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in the Roman Catholic Church.[4]


The "Clancy" mascot from the floor of the old McGuinness building. The Clancy image, set in tile overlay at the entrance to the senior class wing of the old school building, was a gift from the Class of 1962. After renovations to the school in 2005, this section of flooring was moved to a separate display
"Clancy" mascot image from the floor of the old McGuinness building

The school was originally founded in 1950 by the archdiocese as “Central Catholic High School.” Despite the name, the school at that time was on the northern fringe of Oklahoma City.[5] The name "Central" referred to the fact that the school was founded as a replacement for multiple small parish-based parochial high schools that had become outdated by the 1950s. As a result, then-bishop Eugene J. McGuinness ordered parochial high schools in the Oklahoma City area closed and consolidated into the new school (the only exception being Mount Saint Mary High School in south Oklahoma City).[6] The school colors (Kelly Green and White) were adopted in 1951, with the school mascot (“Clancy”) and the nickname (“Fighting Irish”) following in 1955.[5]

In 1959, the school was renamed in honor of McGuinness, who had died in 1957.[7]

In 1960, the school received full accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Oklahoma Department of Education. The school is also affiliated with the National Catholic Educational Association, the College Board, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.[5]

The Class of 1962 provided the school with its primary tradition when it donated a rendition of the "Clancy" mascot on the tile floor of the school. From 1962 to the school's renovation in 2006, the tradition dictated that each year's senior class protect the image from being trod upon by any student. After the renovation, the tile image was moved to a special display.

Feeder Schools[edit]

Feeder schools serving students through the eighth grade supply students to McGuinness from around the Oklahoma City area. Officially-recognized feeder schools for athletics eligibility purposes include twelve Catholic grade schools in the region as well as two non-Catholic schools near the McGuinness campus:

  • All Saints Catholic School in Norman, Oklahoma
  • Bishop John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City
  • Christ the King Catholic School in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma
  • Rosary Catholic School in Oklahoma City
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School in Oklahoma City
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School in El Reno, Oklahoma
  • St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Warr Acres, Oklahoma
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School in Edmond, Oklahoma
  • St. Eugene Catholic School in Oklahoma City
  • St. James Catholic School in Oklahoma City
  • St. John Nepomuk Catholic School in Yukon, Oklahoma
  • St. Phillip Neri Catholic School in Midwest City, Oklahoma
  • Westminster School in Oklahoma City
  • St. John's Episcopal School in Oklahoma City

Other schools providing students include St. Mary's Catholic School in Guthrie, Holy Trinity Catholic School in Okarche, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Kingfisher, as well as a number of charter and public schools in the area.


The Frasatti Chapel at McGuinness, named after Blessed Fr. Pier Giorgio Frassati. The chapel has a domed sanctuary reminiscent of eastern churches, and houses Byzantine Rite services within the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City
Frassati Chapel

The school’s campus has been located at the intersection of 50th Street and Western Avenue in Oklahoma City since its founding. The main academic building was completed in 1950, with a gymnasium and football stadium following in 1951. Improvements since that time have included the creation of a track and field complex in 1987, a new theology and art center wing in 1991, the father Pier Giorgio Frassati Chapel in 1998, and the renovation of the main auditorium into the Father John Petuskey Performing Arts Auditorium in 2002.[5][8]

In 2006, after a three-year, $9.5 million capital campaign,[9] the school opened the David L. Morton Educational Facility, named after the current Principal, a building which substantially replaced the prior main academic building.[5] The facility includes new classrooms, offices, a student commons area, and a new academic information center named in honor of Father Stanley Rother.[5]

In 2008 the school opened the refurbished McCarthy Gymnasium, including updated facilities for the basketball, wrestling, and volleyball programs.[10] That year, the school also unveiled a refurbishment of its football complex, including new weight training facilities, football offices, and a new facade to Pribil Stadium.[11]

The new main entry to the school
Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School

In 2012, the School added on an addition to their Senior Hall, being the new Lecture Hall. This new Lecture hall also includes 5 new classrooms now known as the Math Wing of the school. The Lecture Hall also provides students with larger class sizes to allow students to experience a college setting.


McGuinness Main Building Interior

The school is one of the more rigorous college-preparatory schools in Oklahoma. Ninety-nine percent (99.5%) of its student body goes on to college (.5% Army), and the school has generated 21 National Merit Scholar Semifinalists or Finalists in the last 5 years.[12] As of 2008, the school offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in nine subject areas.[13]

In 2004, McGuinness was recognized in the first annual Catholic High School Honor Roll as one of the Top 50 Catholic High Schools in the United States.[14][15] In that year, the school was also noted as a Top-20 school in the subcategory of "Civic Education."[16] This Top-50 distinction was repeated in 2005,[17][18] 2006[19] (with a Top-25 Civic Education ranking),[20] and again in 2007.[21] In 2010, the school received Honorable Mention as one of six schools in the "Academics" subcategory.[22]

Extra-curricular academic opportunities include a student newspaper, the Chi Rhoan, which publishes every other month and received the “All Oklahoma Award” at Oklahoma Scholastic Media’s 93rd annual competition in 2009, in addition to other more recent awards.[23] The school's Academic Team won the Class 3A State Championship in the Academic Bowl in both 1999 and 2000, a competition administered by the OSSAA.[24]


The gates at Pribil Stadium

Athletics have been a part of McGuinness's tradition since its inception. After initially competing in Catholic school leagues within the state, McGuinness was first accepted to the major state athletic regulatory body—the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA)—in 1966, allowing it to officially compete against public secondary schools.[5] Since that time, McGuinness has won 81 state titles in its classification across sixteen sports. Sports Illustrated rated the McGuinness #11 on its national Top 25 High School Athletic Programs list for the 2007-08 school year.[25]

The Bishop McGuinness Boys Basketball Tournament, founded in 1961, is a fixture of the winter schedule and is the oldest interscholastic high school basketball tournament in the state.[5]

In football, McGuinness shares a tradition with cross-state rival Bishop Kelley High School, which together form the two largest private schools in the state.[26] The winner of the contest obtains possession of the "Shillelagh Trophy" for the upcoming year.[26] The schools also compete biannually in boys' and girls' basketball.

Based on its enrollment, McGuinness competes by default in Class 5A athletics within the OSSAA.[27] However, certain sports compete on an ad hoc basis in Class 6A (OSSAA's highest class) due to a particular rule. In April 2011, the OSSAA passed amendments to its classification rules for private schools that allowed the OSSAA to re-classify certain individual sports one level above their normal enrollment-based classification.[28] Currently, the OSSAA re-classifies McGuinness for competition in Class 6A in select sports including cross country,[29] volleyball,[30] and basketball. A lawsuit was filed by McGuinness against the OSSAA concerning this issue on September 8, 2014.[31] It was announced in June of 2015 that OSSAA has put a cap that no team can move up to 6A the highest they can go is 5A.Which means that McGuinness will be in 5A for All Sports starting in 2015-2016 Season.

McGuinness OSSAA Athletic Championships
Boys' basketball 9 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
2006, 2007, 2008, 2012[32]
Girls' basketball 1 2011[33]
Baseball 2 2002, 2008[34]
Boys' cross country 10 1984, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996,
1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004[35]
Girls' cross country 19 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993,
1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998,
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004,
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,[35]
Football 2 2006, 2007[36]
Boys' golf 2 2008, 2016[37]
Girls' golf 3 2007, 2010, 2011[37]
Boys' soccer 2 2003, 2007[38]
Girls' soccer 1 2008[38]
Girls' swimming and diving 2 2009,2010[39]
Boys' tennis 3 2003, 2004, 2011[40]
Girls' tennis 13 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
2009, 2010, 2011[40]
Boys' track and field 5 1997, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2007[41]
Girls' track and field 8 1989, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2000,
2001, 2008, 2015[41]
Girls' volleyball 1 2003[42]
Total 83

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  3. ^ "Clancy Speaks" (PDF). Irish Eyes. Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School: 2. August 23, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  4. ^ " Directory: Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School". 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h " Official History" (PDF). 
  6. ^ White, James D. (2004). Roman and Oklahoman: A Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Strasbourg, France: Éditions du Signe. p. 32. ISBN 2-7468-0750-5. 
  7. ^ White, James D. (2004). Roman and Oklahoman: A Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Strasbourg, France: Éditions du Signe. p. 28. ISBN 2-7468-0750-5. 
  8. ^ "Father John Petuskey Performing Arts Auditorium". Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  9. ^ " David L. Morton Educational Center" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  10. ^ "McCarthy Gymnasium webpage". Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  11. ^ "Pribil Stadium webpage". Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  12. ^ " Academic Profile Data" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  13. ^ Peterson's Private Secondary Schools (2008). Lawrenceville, New Jersey: Peterson's. 2007. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-7689-2399-5. 
  14. ^ Gust, Steve (November 7, 2004). "National Honor Roll Taps McGuinness as Top 50 School" (PDF). Sooner Catholic Online. 
  15. ^ " Bishop McGuinness Profile". Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  16. ^ " 2004 Category Leaders". 
  17. ^ " Top 50 Schools 2005". Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  18. ^ Marks, Dawn (September 13, 2005). "McGuinness lands spot on Top-50 list" (PDF). Daily Oklahoman. 
  19. ^ " Top 50 Schools 2006". 
  20. ^ " Category Leaders". Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  21. ^ " Top 50 Schools 2007". 
  22. ^ The Catholic High School Honor Roll switched to a biannual format in 2008, so no rankings exist for 2009. " 2010-11 Category Leaders". Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  23. ^ " Student Publications". Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  24. ^ "OSSAA: Academic Bowl Championship History". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  25. ^ "Top 25 High School Athletic Programs, 2007-08". Sports Illustrated. May 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  26. ^ a b Lewis, Barry (September 12, 2008). "Bishop Kelley at OKC McGuinness: The stick that's all that". Tulsa World. 
  27. ^ "OSSAA 2013-14 ADM Listings" (PDF). Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  28. ^ "OSSAA board approves proposal to determine classification for private schools". The Oklahoman. April 13, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  29. ^ "OSSAA Cross Country Classification table" (PDF). Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  30. ^ "OSSAA Volleyball Classification Table" (PDF). Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  31. ^ Unruh, Jacob (September 8, 2014). "Bishop McGuinness files lawsuit against OSSAA". The Oklahoman. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  32. ^ "OSSAA Basketball Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  33. ^ "OSSAA Basketball Class 5A Results" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  34. ^ "OSSAA Baseball Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  35. ^ a b "OSSAA Cross Country Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  36. ^ "OSSAA Football Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  37. ^ a b "OSSAA Golf Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  38. ^ a b "OSSAA Soccer Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  39. ^ "OSSAA Swimming and Diving Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  40. ^ a b "OSSAA Tennis Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  41. ^ a b "OSSAA Track and Field Championship History". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  42. ^ "OSSAA Volleyball Championship History". Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  43. ^ a b Ken, Raymond (April 20, 2014). "Oklahoma City native Dan Fagin wins Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  44. ^ Nix, Deborah. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". ABODE Magazine (August 2012). Houston Apartment Association. pp. 40–45, 70–73. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 

External links[edit]