Mount Rushmore of OSU

An interesting discussion of the Mount Rushmore of OSU on the pistols firing podcast. Good discussion, but personally I think there is recency bias.

Who would you put on the list for OSU overall - what was done for the University and their profession? I am sure there are non athletes there, but I am not as versed in that area.

In no order, I think John Smith is on that list. I also think Henry Iba is and Boone Pickens. My final person is either Mike Holder or Ed Gallagher. Holder won national championships and amazing fundraiser- responsible for Boone becoming a donor and Karsten Creek, so I lean toward him, even if many feel is is polarizing.

Honorable mention are Gallagher, Sutton, Gundy, and Gary Ward. In get what football is to sports, money, espn and revenue, but can’t put someone without a national championship on the list. Athletes are a different list and people like Barry Sanders, Robin Ventura, Thurman are on that list, but not the overall list.

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Smith, Sutton, Gundy, Lutz

Iba or Holder for #4


Joking: Prentiss Elliott, Stevie Clark, AJ Ferrari, and Kelly Maxwell

Serious: John Smith, T. Boone Pickens, Mike Gundy, and Henry P. Iba


Lutz /s

So Gundy one of the top 4 people in the history of OSU? I get it is football, money that comes from that and putting us in position to benefit from espn contracts,… But one conference championship, 0 national championships, not sure if he has ever been national coach of the year? Good qb and led Big XII in passing yards for a time, but had Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, and Hart Lee Dykes as teammates.

Without Holder, do we get Boone’s money? and I don’t think Karsten Creek exists without holder.

But interesting discussion and everyone is entitled to her/ his opinion.

Barry Sanders, John Smith, Henry Iba, Mike Gundy


Not to dismiss what John Smith has done, but if you’re looking to capture a diversity of contributions I wouldn’t blink before removing him and adding Ed Gallagher. No question in my mind.

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If we’re talking Mount Rushmore, I’m looking for substantial, long-lasting contribution to the school in some way.

Iba - His name is and will be tied to basketball nationwide.
Gallagher - Same as above for wrestling. Pretty much gave the country wrestling we have today
Barry - Put us on the national map when people talked about OSU football.
Boone - Made possible what we have today when it comes to sports success and expectations

If Rushmore ever gets a 5th head:
Gundy - Set us up for long-term football success. He spoiled the fans.


I’m in the Jaime Foutch camp. 3x All American, Record holder, Olympian, Oklahoma born and raised, made HUGE strides for women’s pro softball compensation. She’s big time.

I’d go with
Gallagher - for the reasons mentioned contributing to college wrestling and setting OSU up to be what it is/was
Iba - for what he did for overall sport of college basketball as well as at OSU
Holder - he built a college golf behemoth and then built them a palace, as well as what he ushered in for facilities and athletic vision
T Boone - made most of these visions come true

Athletes get their own
Barry, J. Smith, Kurland, Michelle Smith, Thurman, Country, Ventura, Inky, etc

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Wow - so you would put Mike Gundy over John Smith? Good college QB, but never achieved greatness at the top level of his sport as an athlete. Great coach with 1 conference championship and no national championships over arguably the greatest wrestler in US history - 6 world titles, 2 olympic gold medals, and 2 NCAA titles as an athlete-coached multiple individual champions, AA and team titles. I get wrestling is not football from a revenue or popularity sport, but John is consistently in the GOAT conversation of wrestling and Gundy is not in football.

I could put Gallagher in over Gundy easily for what he did for OSU and the sport of wrestling - we have a building named after him and maybe some day it will be Mike Gundy Field at Boone Pickens stadium, but not there yet.

I actually struggled a little over that one and it came down to this for me: On the whole when it comes to losing and struggling in each sport (regular or post-season, doesn’t matter), am I more disappointed and scrutinize Gundy or Smith more? I have high expectations for both, but for me Gundy has established greater expectations for the program. I enjoy both sports but concede I’m more bias towards football.

Gundy is undoubtedly top 4. Probably a clear cut number one outside of maybe BP. He’s put the school on the map in a way that no other coach has come close to doing, hardware or not. If you’re going by who’s been most important for Okstate athletics.

If you’re only going off wins / accolades and completely ignoring the financial side and reputation of the school altogether, I could see dropping him off a tiny bit.

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Both need to retire. Fortunately, one did.

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Iba, Eddie, Gundy, John Smith

Not including Boob Pickens because he was a donor, didn’t actually coach or play sports.


Pickens impacted the visibility of the athletic department as a whole. His initial 165mil set a record. Those other names don’t necessarily connect OSU to worlds outside of collegiate athletics. Pickens did.

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He played basketball if I remember correctly.

I am surprised nobody is listing Ventura here. Amazing college career, pro playing and coaching career.

It’s a tough task to only pick four, but I’ll go with:

Boone Pickens
Barry Sanders
Robin Ventura
John Smith

Honorable mentions:

Ed Gallagher
Mike Gundy
Henry Iba
Thurman Thomas
Big Dady :rofl:

Great discussion topic and ridiculously hard without parameters (i.e. players, coaches, contributors, etc).


When anyone cares if a coach needs to be gone, that’s a good thing. It means fans care and expectations are high.

What did Boone do to deserve this?