Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Athletic Hall of Fame

Valerie Fariss

Fariss came to SWOSU after a stellar career at Leedey High School where she was an all-state selection in both basketball and volleyball. She spurned offers to attend a number of major colleges instead opting to attend SWOSU which had begun to build an impressive run of success as an NAIA basketball power.

Fariss wasted no time adding her name into the rich history book leading the Bulldogs to the 1990 NAIA title, their fifth in a span of nine years. She scored a team-best 28 points in the 82-75 championship game victory over Arkansas-Monticello and was named to the all-tournament team as a freshman.

Fariss led the Bulldogs to three other NAIA tournament appearances including a runner-up finish in 1991, semi-finalist in 1993 and quarterfinalist in 1994. She was twice named to the NAIA All-American teams and was a first-team selection to the ASWF team in 1993. She concluded her career as the second-leading scorer in school history with 1,891 points and owns free throw accuracy records for season and career both above 85%.

Fariss graduated in 1994 and began coaching at Carnegie before joining the high school staff at Clinton. At Clinton she coached the girls basketball team, girls soccer and later started the school’s volleyball program. Each of the three programs would qualify for the state tournament during her nine-year stay at Clinton.

Fariss hung up her coaching whistle and entered the business world in 2004 where she served as a vice president at the Bank of Western Oklahoma in Weatherford for two years. She now is a Partner in Homestead Title & Closing Company along with current SWOSU Alumni President Mary Regier and a Tag Agent in Cordell.