The people and events that shaped the football program are remembered in this three-story facility, along with the stories of some of the greatest teams ever to play the game and the seemingly endless list of coaches and players who brought glory to the university and the state.
Also to be found here is generous recognition of Sooner fans, who have long been instrumental in the program's success. Of the many facets that distinguish Oklahoma football, few are more valuable than the loyal following often referred to simply as "The Sooner Nation."
Whether you're a long-time OU fan, a recent convert or simply a visitor, we trust that you will find this exhibit to be interesting and captivating. We are honored that you are here and encourage you to return often.
The first floor houses a wall-sized mural and a sculpted bust of former Oklahoma coach great Barry Switzer, the man for whom the center is named. An addition to the first floor is a flat screen on the north wall that includes a moving video that welcomes visitors to Legends Lobby. Championships and a program timeline, told through various coaching eras, highlight the second floor.
The chronology of the Sooner football program begins on the north wall where the initial panel tells of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889, the barbershop-beginning of football on campus and the origin of the Sooner nickname.
The coaching eras begin with the legendary Bennie Owen on the north wall. As visitors work their way around the room, they will travel through time with other Oklahoma coaches like Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer and Bob Stoops. Video screens in these wall panels highlight specific coaching eras on a perpetual DVD.
The kiosks set in the middle of the room recognize the seven national championships. The cases include trophies and artifacts, as well as a capsule of each season and the pivotal game of each campaign.
Some of the special artifacts on display include a fund-raising brochure used for the original stadium construction, the ball used to score the first touchdown ever against Nebraska on Owen Field, a fan's megaphone from the 1930's, one of Bud Wilkinson's fedora hats, Joe Washington's silver shoes, championship rings presented to Sooner players and coaches, a windbreaker worn by Barry Switzer and a visor worn by Bob Stoops.
Five other kiosks titled Bowl Supremacy take a special look at Oklahoma's trips to the Orange, Fiesta, Rose, Sugar and Cotton Bowls. The ceiling mounts are replicas of the bowl program covers from Oklahoma's bowl games.
While the second floor concentrates primarily on team accomplishments, the third floor exhibit takes a closer look at the outstanding individual achievements of Sooner players. The five Heisman Trophies are featured in the main floor space. The trophies won by Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims, Jason White and Sam Bradford greet visitors as they first enter the area.
To the left of the Heisman display are cases dedicated to more national awards. The bronze plates mounted on each side of the case list the major awards and Oklahoma's winners. The trophies featured in the case are representative of the awards won by Sooner players.
The eastern-most area displays the OU representatives who have been inducted into the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame, and those who have achieved first-team Academic All-America status. Displays on the north and south walls recognize all-conference and All-America players as well as those who have had careers in the professional ranks. Touch screens in these displays allow fans to look up information and highlights on specific players.
As the Legends Lobby is attached to a working office area, noise levels should be kept to a minimum. This also will add to the enjoyment for other visitors. Those touring the facility are asked to refrain from touching plexi-glass cases. All children visiting the Legends Lobby should be accompanied by an adult. Food and drink are prohibited in the exhibit areas at all times.
Visitors to the Legends Lobby should confine their visit to the exhibit area only. Other areas of the Switzer Center are not open to the public. Your cooperation is appreciated. Both video and still cameras are permitted. Any images captured here are for personal use only and may not be distributed without permission of the University of Oklahoma.
Guided group tours of the Legends Lobby are available by calling (405) 325-2345. Interested parties should make arrangements at least two weeks prior to the scheduled visit.
For information regarding the donation of items to the Legends Lobby, contact the OU Athletics Media Relations Office (405) 325-8231. Donated items, while encouraged, become the property of the University of Oklahoma and cannot be returned.
The OU Athletics Department accepts monetary donations designated for the Legends Lobby. These gifts help Oklahoma maintain and improve this state-of-the-art display area. Individuals interested in supporting the Legends Lobby should contact the Sooner Club (405) 325-8000.
Legends Lobby is an evolving display. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy. Information that might enhance or correct that which is on display should be forwarded to the OU Athletics Media Relations Office, McClendon Center for Intercollegiate Athletics, 180 W. Brooks, Norman, OK, 73019.