Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Athletic Hall of Fame

Kelli Litsch - 1990

In a state that has had its fair share of great women’s basketball players, perhaps no one captured the imagination or gained more notoriety than Litsch.  She won championships, set records and pushed women’s basketball to headline status across the state. At Thomas High School, Litsch-led teams went a combined 77-9 from 1978-1981, winning two six-on-six state titles on the way. Her 3,364 total points was at the time the most ever points scored by any player (boy or girl) in Oklahoma high school history. She still holds the state tournament career scoring record of 37.6 points per game. Litsch, a 4.0 valedictorian, had her choice of any school in the country, including basketball powers Texas, Southern California and Louisiana Tech. She opted to stay nearby and enrolled at Southwestern. What followed can only be described as “Hoops Hysteria,” as the Lady Bulldogs exploded into the NAIA’s premier basketball program. In Litsch’s first year, she led SWOSU to an undefeated 34-0 season.

As a freshman, she earned MVP Tournament Honors and was named First Team NAIA All-American. More championships followed in 1983 and again in 1985. In her last game as a senior, she hit the game-winning jumper in the closing seconds to defeat Saginaw Valley, Mich. 54-43. She became the first NAIA player to be selected to the first team All-American squad four times. Litsch ended her magical run at SWOSU with a 129-5 record and as the NAIA all-time record holder in points scored with 2,700.

After graduation, she joined the Lady Bulldogs basketball program as an assistant coach and helped them to their fourth and fifth titles 1987 and 1990. Litsch traded in her coach’s whistle in 1995 and now concentrates on the administrative end. She is the assistant athletic director in charge of compliance at Southwestern. She has been inducted into four Hall Of Fames: SWOSU Athletic (1990), NAIA Hall of Fame (1991), Oklahoma Sports (2004), Women’s Basketball (2005.)