The mid-1940s were a golden era for sports at Oklahoma A&M College. In a 90-day period in early 1945, teams won the Cotton Bowl, the NCAA championship in wrestling, and the NCAA championship in basketball. The following year, the wrestling team and basketball team repeated as national winners, and the football team was again victorious, this time at the Sugar Bowl.
On New Year's Day 1945, the OAMC football team capped its season with a victory in the Cotton Bowl. A year later, the unbeaten gridiron dynamos rocketed to a victory in the Sugar Bowl. Bob Fenimore became the college's first football All-American in 1944 and repeated in 1945, he was followed by his teammate Neill Armstrong in 1946.
Big contributors to the winning seasons are pictured in the football team photo (bottom row) Bob Fenimore and Nate Wilson, (middle row) Ross Duckett and John Gattis, (top row) J.C. Colhouer, Ralph Foster and Neill Armstrong.
In 1946, the OAMC College basketball team won a national championship for the second time in as many years-the first time an institution had accomplished back-to-back victories. In the photograph, Coach Henry Iba accepts the James St. Clair trophy from Mrs. St. Clair. The seven-foot-tall, three-time All-American, Robert A. "Bob" Kurland (center), towers over the ceremony.
The quiet Irishman, Edward C. Gallagher, (pictured during a match) led OAMC to international prominence with his wrestling teams. Known for his inventive mind, a winning pace, and sturdy moral tone, Gallagher's teams won 138 dual matches, lost only 5 and tied 4 in his 23 years as coach, winning 11 National Collegiate Athletic Association championships.