|| Sooner Schooner
The Sooner Schooner is a conestoga (covered wagon)
reminiscent of the mode of travel used by pioneers
who settled Oklahoma Territory around the time of the
1889 Land Run.
Powered by matching white ponies named
Boomer and Sooner, the Schooner races across
Owen Field in a triumphant victory ride after every
The Schooner was introduced in the fall of 1964 and become
the official mascot of the Oklahoma Sooners
The Ruf/Neks, OU's all-male spirit squad, maintain
and drive the Schooner. Mick Cottom, a freshman
Ruf/Nek member from Liberty Mounds, Okla., has the
distinction of being the first person to pilot the
Schooner across Owen Field in 1964.
The Sooner Schooner and accompanying ponies are
kept at the Bartlett Ranch in Sapulpa, Okla. Charley
F. (Buzz) Bartlett and his brother, Dr. M. S. Bartlett,
organized the Doc and Buzz foundation in 1964 for the
purpose of presenting scholarships to deserving students.
The most sentimental thrust of the foundation was
the support of the OU mascot.
The sight of the Sooner Schooner rolling across
the field is one that Oklahoma fans (and most
opponents) will always cherish as one of
the best traditions in college athletics.
Boomer and Sooner are the costumed mascots
that represent the University and the OU Athletics
Department. The characters are an extension of
the Sooner Schooner and its horses to be enjoyed by
fans -- especially children -- at all OU athletics
The mascots were introduced at the
Big Red Rally on campus on August 26, 2005. A number
of groups participated in the process of researching
and devising the new mascots over a period of nearly
The OU Athletics Department and student leaders recognized
the need for a mascot to provide representation at
all OU athletics contests as well as attend charity
events and visit children's hospitals.
in mind, student congress passed a resolution in favor
of the development and implementation of a unified
mascot. The Mascot Committee was formed and began work
on what would become Boomer and Sooner.
During Oklahoma football and baseball games from 1915-1928,
Mex the Dog wore a red sweater with a big red letter
'O' on the side. One of his main jobs was to keep stray
dogs from roaming the field during a game in the days
when the football field was more accessible to non-ticketholders.
Before his career as a mascot, Mex was just a helpless
'dog waif.' Then, a U.S. Army field hospital medic
found him in Mexico in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution
unrest. Mott Keys was stationed along the Mexican border
near Laredo, Texas, and found the dog among a litter
of abandoned pups one night on the Mexican side.
Mex was adopted by Keys' company, and when Keys finished
his duty and moved to Hollis, Okla., he took Mex. He
later attended OU and Mex followed him again.
At OU, Mex's experience as an Army medic company mascot
landed him the job with the football team and a home
in the Kappa Sigma fraternity house. He quickly became
Oklahoma's most famous dog. 'A joyous staccato bark
cheered Sooner touchdowns' at football games and a
'victory woof' punctuated home runs at baseball games.
But Mex began to gain national attention in October
of 1924 when the OU football headed north
to play Drake.
Mex did not board the train in Arkansas City, Kan.,
as the OU football team and its boosters switched cars
to head for Des Moines, Iowa, and the game. Missing
their beloved mascot, the Sooners were shut out
by Drake, 28-0. The headline from the Arkansas
Daily Traveler on October 28, 1924 left no doubt
as to the cause of the humiliating loss: "Crushing
Defeat of Bennie Owen's Team is Charged to Loss of Their
A 50-cent reward was offered. Mex was eventually discovered
in Arkansas City pacing the train station platform. OU
grads J.D. Hull, Hughes B. Davis and J.C. Henley recovered
Mex and the men drove him to the next Sooner game
against Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater.
Mex died of old age on April 30, 1928. He was so popular
among students and faculty that the university closed
for his funeral and procession on May 2, 1928. He was
buried in a small casket somewhere under the existing