Football Coach. As a player, Bud Wilkinson quarterbacked the Minnesota Golden Gophers to the first AP national championship. After serving as an assistant under Don Faurot, he took a position on the staff of Jim Tatum at the University of Oklahoma. When Tatum left to coach at Maryland in 1947, OU gave Wilkinson the head coaching job. During his tenure, he won 145 games, losing only 29, and had 4 ties, winning three national championships. From 1953 to 1957 he led the Sooners on a 47-game winning streak, a record that still stands and will probably never be broken. He pioneered the coaches television show that is now a mainstay of college and pro sports teams. Along with Bennie Owen, Barry Switzer, and Bob Stoops, he is one of four coaches at OU to win over 100 games, no other college football program has more than three. Among the many star players he coached are Buddy Burris, Leon "Mule Train" Heath, Tom Catlin, Max Boydston, Eddie Crowder, Prentice Gautt, and Heisman Trophy winner Billy Vessels, After retiring as Oklahoma's football coach in 1963, he ran for one of the state's U. S. Senate seats as a Republican, narrowly losing to Fred Harris in the 1964 election. The next year he joined ABC Sports as a color commentator, and is still regarded as one of the all-time best color analysts in football. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969.
Bio by: Cemetery Guy