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SWOSU Hall of Fame to Honor Ryan Brothers, Championship Basketball Team
October 6, 2011
Two of the most famous personalities from Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s rich and storied athletic history and a basketball team that captured the imagination of thousands will be honored as part of the 2012 SWOSU Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies.
Former SWOSU football players and current NFL coaching brothers Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan will be formally inducted in a Spring 2012 ceremony on the Weatherford campus. Also, members of the 1981-82 women’s basketball team will be recognized for the university’s first basketball national championship title. Details for the hall of fame event will be announced at a later date.
Rex, who is the head coach of the NFL’s New York Jets, and his twin brother, Rob, who is the defensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys, came to SWOSU in 1981. The two came to the Weatherford campus due to their famous father, Buddy Ryan, who had a close relationship with Bob Mazie, SWOSU’s head football coach at the time.
The Ryan brothers played football at SWOSU before completing their bachelor’s degrees in 1986.
Currently, Rex is in his third year with the Jets where he has led the team to back–to–back AFC Championship appearances in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He previously spent 10 years with the Baltimore Ravens where he helped coach the Super Bowl XXXV championship team.
Rob is in 13th season as a NFL coach, the last seven as a defensive coordinator, first for the Oakland Raiders, then Cleveland Browns and currently with the Dallas Cowboys. In addition, he was a defensive assistant on the New England Patriots Super Bowl XXVI and XXVII championship teams.
The 1981-82 SWOSU women’s basketball team, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary, blazed a trail for what would be a string of NAIA National Championships. The Bulldogs were led under the direction of Coach John Loftin and the play of All-American Kelli Litsch, both who are current members of the SWOSU Hall of Fame. The team won all 34 games that season on its way to the first of five NAIA National Titles in the decade of the 1980’s.