1911-40: A Winning Record
By John W. Parrish
As Oklahoma Baptist University prepares to bring football back to Bison Hill in the fall of 2013, a glance at OBU's pigskin history is in order. In recent months, I researched OBU's football scores-checking the university's aged, incomplete records against newspaper reports, student publications, and other materials. From OBU's first academic year (1911-12) through 1940, the school fielded football teams. Scores and other information are sketchy for the 1910s but available for 1919-1940.
Based on scores which I located, OBU compiled a total record of 115 wins, 90 losses, and 17 ties during its first phase of football history. The Bison were 69-32-7 at home; 46-51-10 on the road; 0-2-0 on neutral fields; and 0-5-0 at undetermined locations.
OBU was 3-18-3 in the decade of the 1910s. We have scores for 1911, 1915, 1916, 1918, and 1919, although they may not be complete. OBU suspended operations from 1912-15; no scores have been found for 1917 and only one score for 1918. Many OBU male students left school in 1917 and 1918 for service in World War I, and OBU was quarantined for five weeks in the fall of 1918 due to an influenza epidemic so few games would have been played.
In the decade of the 1920s (1920-29), the Bison had a record of 52-32-8; in the decade of the 1930s (1930-39), 52-38-5; and in 1940, the final year of OBU football, 8-2-1.
From 1919 through 1928, OBU competed in the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference; from 1929-35 in the Big Four Conference; and 1936-40 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference. (The Big Four consisted of Tulsa, Phillips, Oklahoma City, and OBU. In 1933-34, only OBU and OCU were in the conference in football as Tulsa moved to the Missouri Valley and Phillips dropped the sport.)
Easily the most successful and longest-tenured coach was Victor C. Hurt, 1923-29 and 1931-34 (eleven seasons), whose teams compiled a record of 63-29-7. His most successful teams were in 1924, 8-3; 1925, 8-1; 1926, 6-1-1; 1927, 6-1-2; 1933, 6-2-1; and 1934, 7-2. The 1927 team was OIC co-champion; the 1934 and 1935 teams were Big Four champions; and the 1934 team was declared Oklahoma collegiate champion because the Bison defeated Central Oklahoma which was the OCAC champion. Hurt's 1925 squad was second in the OIC and his 1932 team was second in Big Four.
Eddie Hurt Jr., who played for but was not related to Victor C. Hurt, was 19-17-4 in four seasons. His 1938 squad was 7-3 and finished second in the OCAC. W.W. Nicklaus succeeded Eddie Hurt and his teams were 16-4-1 in 1939 and 1940 (8-2 and 8-2-1). His 1940 team was the OCAC champion.
The teams coached by these three coaches own 98 of OBU's 115 victories.