2018 INDUCTEES: The seven inductees into this year’s Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame are, from left, Robin Ventura, Mat Hoffman, Joe Castliglione, Gerald Anderson (nephew of the late Bill Pickett), Larry Coker, Allan Trimble and Ken Mendenhall.
Photo by DEAN ATCHISON for GTR Newspapers
The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame introduced its class of 2018 recently, with seven new members who will be inducted later this year.
University of Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, former OU, , high school football and University of Miami head coach Larry Coker, former Sooner football and player Ken Mendenhall, former baseball and major league star Robin Ventura, long-time Jenks high school football coach Allan Trimble, bicycle tricks pioneer Mat Hoffman, and rodeo pioneer Bill Pickett are the seven new members.
Castiglione has been OU’s athletic director since 1998 and led a department that has won 16 national championships this century.
Coker was a high school coach in Oklahoma before becoming an assistant at OU, , and Tulsa and then the head coach at Miami, where he led the Hurricanes to the national championship in 2001. He’s currently the head coach at Texas-San Antonio.
Mendenhall was an All-American center at OU in 1969, blocking for Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens. He played 10 seasons in the for the Baltimore Colts.
Ventura was a three-time All-American at and the national player of the year in 1988, when he set an record with a 58-game hitting streak. He played 16 seasons in the major leagues and was a two-time All-Star.
Trimble has led Jenks to 13 state championships since taking over the program in 1996. He has a record of 242-41.
Hoffman pioneered the sport of bicycle trick riding, becoming a world class vert ramp rider, and an influential figure in the creation of the X Games. He created the Hoffman Sports Association, which organizes events all over the world.
Bill Pickett was a pioneering rodeo cowboy in the early part of the 20th century and created the technique of “bulldogging,” by grabbing a steer by the horns and wrestling it to the ground.