Team of Legend
1958 Cameron State Agricultural College Baseball Team
Induction Sponsored by Cameron University Foundation
Ted Owens arrived at Cameron State Agricultural College in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1956 as the head basketball coach, assistant football coach, U.S. History teacher, and to start a baseball program. The basketball team went undefeated during the 1957 – ’58 regular season and rose to the #1 ranking in the nation, before losing in the semi-finals of the national tournament. Though the season was a success, Coach Owens felt the pressure to field a basketball team that would win a national championship. Owens, with his mind on creating a championship caliber basketball team, was forced to turn his focus to creating a baseball program.
Cameron had not had a baseball team in 27 years, and the administration had no desire in actually building a competitive ball team. The athletic director thought that having a baseball team would help recruit football and basketball prospects. Cameron did not have a baseball field, no budget for uniforms or scholarships and the players would have to furnish their own gear. The team was made up of a diverse group of young men. An African American, three American Indians and several students who hadn’t played on an integrated roster before made up the team. None of them came to Cameron to play baseball. Three were members of the football team, five members of the basketball team, a Golden Gloves boxing champion, a college transfer student, a standout high school baseball player, a service veteran who and several other students made up the team.
Ft. Sill Military Base offered to let the team practice one day a week on their baseball fields. Cameron would then scrimmage one of the military teams, and this was their baseball season. The team worked very hard. They played small ball, bunting, stealing bases, hit and runs, any way to manufacture runs. After being pounded by the army units, many of them with professional players, they finally succeeded in winning a scrimmage.
The National Junior College Athletic Association was hosting their first national championship that season in Miami, Oklahoma at Northeastern Junior College. Coach Owens called the regional director and asked him how Cameron could qualify. When asked Cameron’s record Coach Owens replied, “We haven’t lost to a college team this year”, he neglected to mention that they had not played a college team all year. Much to the coach’s surprise he received a telegram the next day stating that Cameron would host the regional tournament and the winner of that tournament would qualify for the national championship. Owens’ team, dressed in the 5th Field Artillery Battalion’s old uniform hosted the regional tournament at old Memorial Park, which had been closed for years, and won four straight games and qualified for the National Tournament.
In two lonely station wagons and borrowed army sleeping bags, the Cameron State Agricultural College baseball team traveled across the state to compete for a national title. The tournament was an eight-team single elimination tournament. Cameron beat the top seed, Phoenix 4-2. They then held off a team from Texas to earn a spot in the final against the host team, Northeastern. Cameron shocked the nation and defeated Northeastern 9-6 capturing the title. Coach Owens kept his job at Cameron for two more years and went on to become the fifth head men’s basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Cameron is now Cameron University and still houses the 1st National Championship baseball trophy in its history, which represents the achievements of a remarkable group of young men.
Induction Sponsored by Rod Polston & Family
Roy Clymer grew up in Drumright, Oklahoma and attended New Mexico State University on a basketball scholarship. After college, Clymer went to work in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He began officiating games at the Tulsa YMCA in 1962. He was convinced by his fellow officials to officiate high school athletics around Tulsa where he rose up the ranks. By 1970 he was calling Big Eight basketball games. After several years officiating on the hard court, Clymer began to officiate Big Eight football games as well. Becoming one of the few dual-sport officials in the conference. He was picked for the 1978 Final Four and called the Duke-Kentucky championship game.
Clymer’s success at the collegiate level drew the attention of the professional leagues. The National Football League, (NFL), offered Clymer a position in 1980. The National Basketball Association, (NBA), offered Clymer an officiating position that same year. Roy chose the NFL because the schedule worked better for his family and his “day job” as an executive with Oklahoma Natural Gas, (ONG). Clymer officiated in the NFL for 14 years as a back judge. He called playoff games every season of his career except his first, including several conference championship games.
The demands of family and his career at ONG eventually led Roy Clymer to retire from professional officiating. Looking back, he says football might have been easier to officiate. “Everybody thinks they know everything about basketball. Football, some of them have a few questions. Both of ‘em were exciting. Some of those gymnasiums, like Oklahoma State, the old OU barn, they were sitting right down in your lap. If you miss one or two, everybody knew about it and they told you about it.” Roy Clymer didn’t miss many calls and became one of the greatest officials to come out of Oklahoma.
Induction Sponsored by University of Oklahoma
Stacey Dales attended Thousand Islands Secondary School (TISS) in Brockville, Ontario, Canada. Dales was a star for the TISS lady’s basketball team, and a major reason why TISS captured three consecutive Ontario ‘AA’ high school senior girls’ basketball championships in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Following high school, Dales played her college basketball at the University of Oklahoma, (OU) and led the Sooners to three conference titles. She was also part of the Sooners’ first NCAA Women’s Final Four appearance in 2002. Dales was a two-time All-American and two-time Big 12 Player of the Year. She holds the school career record for assists (764). She set the school single season assists record with 248 during the 2000-01 season. Dales was a member of the Canadian Olympic team at the 2000 Sydney Games.
The Washington Mystics drafted Stacey Dales with the third overall pick in the 2002 WNBA draft. She is OU’s highest-drafted women’s player and the highest-drafted Canadian in WNBA history. She played in 150 WNBA games with the Mystics and Chicago Sky. She averaged 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Dales made the All-Star team during her rookie season with the Mystics.
Following her WNBA career, Stacey Dales began a career in sports media. She served as men’s and women’s college basketball analyst, as well as a sideline reporter for college football and the NBA, on ESPN. She was the first female at ESPN to work as an in-studio men’s basketball analyst. Dales has worked at the NFL Network as host and national reporter/correspondent for NFL Media Programming since 2009, and she served as a color analyst for Fox Sports’ women’s college basketball coverage. She has been instrumental in paving the way for women in sports broadcasting and is considered one of the best sports reporters working today.
Induction Sponsored by Oklahoma State University
Mike Gundy has spent more than half of his life either quarterbacking or coaching at Oklahoma State University, (OSU). Gundy first arrived at Oklahoma State in 1986 after a heavily decorated prep career. Gundy played quarterback and was voted Oklahoma Player of the Year in 1986 at Midwest City High School. He was a four-year starter at OSU from 1986-1989 and led the Cowboys to bowl wins at the 1987 Sun Bowl and the 1988 Holiday Bowl. During those two seasons, OSU accumulated a 20-4 record. He began his college career by throwing 138 passes before tossing his first career interception and finished it as the Big Eight Conference’s all-time leader in passing and total offense.
After graduation, Gundy joined the Oklahoma State football staff. He coached the receivers in 1990, the quarterbacks, 1991-1993 and in 1994, he served as offensive coordinator. He spent the 1996 season at Baylor as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator before heading to Maryland where he coached from 1997-2000. He returned to OSU in 2001 as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach.
Coach Gundy became the head football coach at OSU in 2005. At that time the Cowboy football program had an all-time record of 473-492-47. Under Gundy’s direction, OSU is 137-67-0. Oklahoma State had 16 bowl appearances in its 104-year history prior to Gundy. With him as head coach, the Cowboys have made 15 bowl appearances in 16 years. Since 2010, Oklahoma State has six seasons with at least 10 wins, and an outright Big 12 title in 2011. Gundy has coached the Cowboys to four New Year’s Six bowl games, and Oklahoma State is one of only seven teams to post a winning season every year from 2010-2020. Entering the 2021 season, OSU has been ranked in the top 15 of the Associated Press poll in 11 of the past 13 seasons. OSU has also excelled in the classroom during Mike Gundy’s tenure. Oklahoma State set a league football record with 28 first-team selections to the Academic All-Big 12 team and a school record with 43 total selections in 2020.
Mike Gundy took over an inconsistent program and turned Oklahoma State into one of the top programs in college football.
Induction Sponsored by Oklahoma Christian University
Dan Hays grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he attended Highland High School. Following high school, Hays attended Casper (Wyoming) Junior College for one year before transferring to Eastern New Mexico. He was named to the NAIA and NCAA All-District teams twice while leading the Greyhounds in scoring and was voted the Team MVP. After graduating in 1968, Hays spent several years in the Amateur Athletic Union leagues. He played in three national tournaments and was chosen to the AAU All-Stars team that played the Soviet Union’s national team in 1971.
Dan Hays coached for six seasons at the high school level in Grants, and Roswell, New Mexico, guiding four teams to the New Mexico prep state tournament. His college coaching career began as an assistant at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. After three years in Durant, Hays coached at Eastern Washington for one season before becoming the head basketball coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Hays went 71-68 at Northwestern and led the Rangers to the NAIA District 9 semifinals twice. His 1980-81 squad won the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference title, and he was named OIC coach of the year in 1981 and 1983.
After five successful years at Northwestern, Hays became the head basketball coach at Oklahoma Christian University, (OC). Hays would spend the next 33 seasons at OC where he complied a 653-402 record, more wins than any coach in school history. The Eagles won six of their 10 Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season championships and their only SAC tournament title during Hays’ tenure. He led Oklahoma Christian to nine NAIA Division I tournaments and reached the Sweet 16 five times. He has been named Sooner Athletic Conference coach of the year five times and NAIA District 9 coach of the year twice.
Dan Hays, the NAIA representative to the USA Men’s Basketball Collegiate Committee, served as an assistant to Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University, on the USA Basketball Junior World Championship Team, which won the gold medal in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic in 1998.
Hays also was an assistant to coach Lon Kruger on the 1991 gold-medal-winning USA team at the World Championships for Junior Men in Edmonton, Canada and at the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival in Minneapolis.
With a career coaching record of 724-470, Dan Hays was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1998 and became a member of the OC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. He also was inducted into the Eastern New Mexico University athletic hall of fame in 1996.
Robert James “Bob” Kalsu
Induction Sponsored by University of Oklahoma
Hubert “Hub” Reed was born in Maysville,
James Robert Kalsu was born in Oklahoma City and attended Del City High School. He was an outstanding athlete in high school and recruited to the University of Oklahoma by legendary football coach Bud Wilkinson. It was a dream of Kalsu’s to play for the legendary coach and program. However, Kalsu never played a down for Wilkinson, who resigned after his freshman season. Over the next several years, Kalsu developed into one of the best offensive linemen to ever play at Oklahoma. He was named the starting tackle in 1966 and emerged as the leader of a team showing progress. The Sooners went 6-4 in 1966 under Coach Jim Mackenzie. Mackenzie died of a heart attack in the spring of 1967 and assistant, Chuck Fairbanks took over.
The 1967 squad would outperform all expectations, and a lot of it was due to the leadership of Bob Kalsu. He was elected as team captain and always lead by example. Kalsu was known as one of the hardest works on the team. He pushed his teammates to work hard and to get it right. As the ’67 Sooners kept winning, Bob Kalsu was right in the middle of it. Before kickoff of the Kansas State game, Wildcats’ head coach, Vince Gibson told Fairbanks that, “Kalsu is the best blocking lineman I’ve ever seen”. What made Bob better than the others was his intense work ethic, intelligence and excellent technique according to Fairbanks. The Sooners finished the 1967 season 9-1 and beat Tennessee in the Orange Bowl to finish 2nd in the Associated Press poll. Kalsu was named an All-American. Bob Kalsu was also a member of the ROTC at OU. A role he took very seriously according to his teammate and fellow ROTC member Steve Owens.
Bob Kalsu was drafted in the 8th round of the 1968 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He worked his way into the lineup in Buffalo at right guard and started nine games that season. Veteran players and coaches praised Kalsu’s talent and maturity. The Bills named Bob Kalsu the team’s Rookie of the Year following the 1968 season. When Kalsu joined the ROTC at Oklahoma, he signed on to serve active duty in the army. Following his rookie season, he was called to join the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. In September of 1969 Kalsu received his orders to go to Vietnam and he was gone before Thanksgiving. On July 21, 1970, while serving with Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery, 101st Airborne Division at the Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord, Bob Kalsu was killed by North Vietnamese mortar fire. He was the only active professional football player to be killed during the Vietnam Conflict.
Bob Kalsu was recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. The plaque in his honor reads: “No one will ever know how great a football player Bob might have been, but we do know how great a man he was to give up his life for his country.” Bob Kalsu’s legacy lives on today and his name will always be synonymous with honor, duty and courage.
Induction Sponsored by Matt Dobson, Attorney at Law
Gene Stephenson grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma. After graduating Stephenson attended the University of Missouri on a football scholarship. However, baseball became his sport at Mizzou, and as a first baseman he was an All-American in 1967. He spent one season as an assistant coach on the Missouri baseball staff, and then served a three-year stint in the United States Army, spending one year in Vietnam. Gene returned to Oklahoma following his time in the service as an assistant baseball coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1973-1977. The Sooners won five league championships and went to five College World Series during that time.
Gene Stephenson became the head baseball coach at Wichita State University, (WSU) in 1977. He was hired to revive a baseball program that had been dormant for seven years. The Shockers finished their first season under Coach Stephenson with a winning record. The Shockers then made their first NCAA tournament appearance in his third season and advanced to the title game by his fifth. Under Coach Stephenson the Shockers made it to the College World Series seven times and had 26 NCAA tournament appearances, including 14 straight from 1987 to 2000. His teams won 20 Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles and 18 MVC tournament championships The Shockers never had a losing season under Coach Stephenson, and his 1982 team established an NCAA record for single season wins with 73 and the Shockers won the 1989 College World Series national championship.
Over his 36 years as head coach at WSU, Gene Stephenson compiled a .750 winning percentage with a 1,837-675-4-career record. The Shockers averaged 51 wins per season under Coach Stephenson, which is the best in NCAA D-I history and his win total places him second in NCAA history. Coach Stephenson was inducted into the Guthrie High School Hall of Fame in 1994 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.