The Norman Transcript


October 14, 2012

Bob Stevens



In 1952, since he remained in the Marines Reserve, he was called up and deployed to the front lines of the Korean Police Action (war).

Several years later, the couple returned to their alma mater, MSU, where he completed his master’s degree. They were blessed with amazing children, Robert and Nancy. More good fortune unfolded. Bob became a graduate assistant freshmen coach under famed coach Pete Newell and thereafter assistant coach to Forddy Anderson. In 1957, the Michigan State team went to the NCAA Final Four in Kansas City. The lost to North Carolina in a triple overtime game, which spoiled their chance of playing Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain of Kansas University in the finals.

This led to the fulfillment of another dream, the head coaching position with the Gamecocks of South Carolina University. Gordie Stauffer, another Hoosier and dear friend, was his assistant. While coaching there, he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year.

In 1962, Oklahoma’s Bud Wilkinson hired Stevens to coach the Sooner basketball team. He not only found a job but found a haven where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. He loved Oklahoma and its “great people.” Gordie Stauffer, Bud Cronlin, one of his S.C. players, and John Macleod assisted coaching OU’s team. There were changes in the style of basketball played in the old field house at OU. As you entered the gym, you immediately saw an oversized banner hanging from the scorer’s table describing his fast break offense. It read, “Go, Go, Go!!!”

At a coaches’ meeting, Henry Iba put his arm on Bob’s shoulder and said, “Son, you’re not supposed to get up and down the court and have fun like you think you’re going to do.”

Steven’s players will attest to grueling arm strength fitness drills, Stevens included, and endless practices rebounding and throwing the ball to the wingman before their feet touched the deck, not allowing the defense to get set. The Sooners did win Bedlam in what was known as “Henry’s House.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Arley Jay Newton

    Arley Jay Newton died Saturday, July 26, 2014, in Tulsa. Arley was born Feb. 4, 1957, in Tulsa, to parents John Newton and Marianna (Pyatt) Newton....

    July 29, 2014

  • Jo Ann Oberst

    Jo Ann Oberst, 80, of Norman, passed away Monday, July 28, 2014, in Norman. She was born April 13, 1934, in Oklahoma City to Albert Siddens and Mary (Mollman) Siddens Manley. She retired from the University of Oklahoma in 1995....

    July 29, 2014

  • Elizabeth Mary Waters

    Services for Elizabeth Mary Waters, 92, Norman, who died Friday, July 25, of natural causes, will be10 a.m. Tuesday, July 29 at Robinson Street Baptist Church, 801 E. Robinson. Bill Blair will officiate. Viewing will be Monday, July 28, 8 ...

    July 27, 2014

  • James Francis Fynmore

    James Francis Fynmore, III, of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, passed away suddenly Tuesday, July 22, 2014....

    July 27, 2014

  • Thomas ‘Tom’ Chambers

    Although Tom was christened Thomas Previglian, he took his step-father’s name of Chambers as it was easier to spell when he entered grade school. Born in Olean, New York, on March 11, 1943, he transitioned into his new life on July 25, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • John Martin McMahon

    John Martin McMahon, 87, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 22, 2014. He was born Jan. 30, 1927, to John and Hattie McMahon, in Detroit....

    July 27, 2014

  • Erma Gene Hubbard

    Family matriarch Erma Gene Hubbard passed away Monday, July 14, 2014, in Norman. She was born March 5, 1921, to Harvel Bryan Pitchford and Lillian Floy Moon in Okemah....

    July 27, 2014

  • Betty Jo Tucker

    Betty Jo Tucker, 84, of Rosedale, passed away Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Betty Jo Easley was born Dec. 19, 1929, in Rosedale, the third of five children born to Calvin Andrew Easley and Laura Era (Miser) Easley. She spent her early years in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Berenice Elizabeth Young

    Berenice Elizabeth  Young, 84, died Monday, July 7, 2014. She was born Nov. 27, 1929....

    July 27, 2014

  • Lucille C. Knapple

    Lucille C. Knapple was born June 2, 1927, to Thomas and Emma Morren, in Norman. She was the only girl, with eight brothers. Lucille met and married her husband, James N. Knapple on April 24, 1947. They had three children, Helene, Ann and ...

    July 27, 2014