NORMAN, Okla (KFOR) — It was a big day in Norman on Thursday as legendary coach, Barry Switzer, was crowned “the king” and celebrated 50 years since he first coached at the University of Oklahoma.
With so many people packed inside, you could feel the OU pride and support for Coach Switzer as soon as you walked through the doors.
Former OU players and fans celebrated the legacy of Coach Switzer as he caught up with old friends, signed autographs and reminisced on the memories at OU.
“I got a lot of kids that I touched and recruited and when you recruit them, you got them for life, they’re yours,” said Switzer.
Former players for Coach Switzer said he’s a man who taught them things they’ll never forget.
“When you are a part of a family that spans time, it spans emotions, it spans stuff, it’s bizarre,” said Wallace Johnson, a former OU player, 1979-1983.
“He’s a friend, a father, and a coach, he always tells you the blatant truth whether you like it or not,” said Jamelle Holieway, a former OU player, 1985.
“Just a straight up guy…there’s only a few people in this country that certain players like to play for…and Coach Switzer’s one of the top five coaches, players love,” said Marcus Dupree, a former OU player, 1982-1983.
Dedicated OU fans also got the chance to meet Coach Switzer.
“He’s the king! The best Camelot years, you can’t beat the years that he was the coach. He talks to everybody, he’s friendly to everybody, he never meets a stranger,” said Marilyn Petricek, an OU fan.
As OU enters the last season in the Big 12 Conference, News 4 asked Coach Switzer what he thinks about OU joining the SEC next year.
“I’m kinda concerned, but we’ve got to go play who we got to play. We gotta find out if we can play with them…hopefully we can…our recruiting has to be excellent to be able to do that,” said Switzer.
It’s been 50 years since Barry Switzer first coached at OU, and while he may not be calling the plays anymore, his legacy at OU will carry on forever.
There was supposed to be an official “crowning” Thursday afternoon to crown Coach Switzer “the king.” He opted against that so he could enjoy time with his former players and friends.