Oklahoma Sooner Athletics: Nothing Else Like It!

Tim BondCorrespondent IApril 7, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 29:  Head coach Jeff Capel of the Oklahoma Sooners points in the first half while taking on the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional Final at the FedExForum on March 29, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

When people think about the Oklahoma Sooner athletic department, the first thought they come to is football. And rightfully so.

The football program from Norman, OK is matched by very few in this great country of ours. Seven National titles, 41 conference championships, and countless individual awards.


But outside of the successes the football program has had, what other successes can fans and knowledgeable folks think of?


Not only does Oklahoma have those seven national championships in football, they also have seven in wrestling, third in the nation behind Oklahoma State and Iowa, respectively. They also have seven in men's gymnastics, the most of any major university in the nation.


But lets go further than just championships.


When talking about football, Oklahoma has had five Heisman Trophy winners and 148 All-Americans. In 2008, the Sooners produced an NCAA record of 716 points in a 14 game season.


In men's basketball, Oklahoma was the first to produce a three-time first-team All-American in Wayman Tisdale. Wayman was a beast for Oklahoma back in the early 1980s. If not for a player named Patrick Ewing, Wayman Tisdale would be a household name.


In women's basketball, just about 13 years ago, OU was thinking about scrubbing the program due to lack of interest and attendance. Then, along came Sherri Coale to revive a rapidly declining program, and boy has she ever!


The Oklahoma women's basketball program produced the first ever four-time first-team All-American in Courtney Paris. The Lady Sooners have also produced five regular season conference titles and four postseason conference titles since 1999-2000.


Not only can OU claim 47 straight wins in football, 1500 wins in men's basketball, and the first four-time All-American in women's basketball. They can also say they are the first to have a basketball player (of eitehr gender) produce over 2,500 points and 2,000 rebounds. Courtney Paris created that record. She also holds the record for the most consecutive double-doubles (112) in both men's and women's NCAA basketball history.


Never has a single athletic program produced both the Heisman Trophy and Naismith Award winners in the same scholastic school year, until Oklahoma did it in 2008-2009. As you all know, Sam Bradford won the 2008 Heisman, while Blake Griffin won the 2009 Naismith award.


What a great athletic department OU has. And it all goes to the credit of not just the coaching staffs, but to the man who is responsible in getting those coaches to Oklahoma, Joe Castiglione, Joe C for short.


Without the best athletic director in the nation, OU would not have Bob Stoops, Jeff Capel, Sherri Coale, Patty Gasso, and the other coaches that are currently at Oklahoma.


So you fans of other teams can claim the final four wins, the national championship teams, the asterisks for conference championships, or whatever you wish. 


Oklahoma may have been at the short end of the stick in football and both men and women's basketball this season. But there is no time in the history of OU athletics to be more proud to be a Sooner than now.


And it will only be getting better!


How so? In baseball, Oklahoma is ranked no. 11. Oklahoma is also ranked no. 13 in softball as of April 7th.


So as you can see, the Athletic Department in Norman is building what appears to be a monster. OU already has the best coaches. And now they are bringing in the best players in each respective sport.