Steve Largent was another talented Tulsa receiver who graduated to a long NFL career (1976–1989 Seattle), was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of numerous enduring records as a receiver, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1994–2002, and then ran as one of the two major candidates for Governor of Oklahoma in 2002.
Nolan Richardson’s hiring helped to usher in a new era of success at Tulsa that has remained fairly consistent since then. He led the team the NIT Championship in the 1980 – 1981 season, his first at the school. Richardson also won two MVC regular season and two MVC tournament championships in his five-season tenure. His flamboyant personality made him extremely popular; his teams adopted McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” as their theme song during the Richardson years. Richardson was succeeded by J. D. Barnett, who continued the team’s success, winning one tournament and one regular season championship and finishing lower than third in the conference only once. Barnett was fired, however, due to the significant increase in expectations at Tulsa following Richardson’s success.
College Sports Established
University of Tulsa
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1907 – 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
2014 – Present / American Athletic Conference
2005 – 2014 / Conference USA
1996 – 2004 / Western Athletic Conference
1935 – 1996 / Missouri Valley Conference
1907 – 1935 – Independent
Golden Hurricane – The name “Golden Tornadoes” was chosen by TU football coach H.M. Archer (1922 – 1924) based on new gold and black uniforms (rather than the previous orange and black) and a remark made during practice of the team “roaring through opponents” (during a season when TU went undefeated, including wins over Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas). However, it was quickly discovered that the same name had been chosen in 1917 by Georgia Tech. Archer then substituted the term “hurricane” for “tornado” and a team vote prior to leaving for the game against Texas A&M confirmed the official nickname as “Golden Hurricane.”
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