Barry Switzer was born in Crossett, Arkansas in 1937. He was a top student and athlete at Crossett High School. In 1955, Switzer graduated with an appointment to the United States Naval Academy and received scholarship offers from several colleges, including The University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University. He attended the University of Arkansas, completing his bachelor degree in business in 1960.
Coach Switzer played center and linebacker for the Razorbacks and was captain of the 1959 team that was the Southwestern Conference and Gator Bowl champions. He returned to The University of Arkansas as a coach in 1961 after his military service. In 1966, he became Offensive Line Coach under Jim MacKenzie at The University of Oklahoma.
In 1973, Barry Switzer became the Head Coach at The University of Oklahoma. During the next sixteen years he compiled an overall record of 157-29-4, including 12 Big Eight Conference Championships, and three National Championships. His overall record ranks behind only Knute Rockne, Frank Lahey and George Woodruff in career college football winning percentage.
In 1994, Switzer was named Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys. In 1995, the Cowboys were Super Bowl Champions. Coach Switzer is one of only two coaches who have won National Championships in both the NCAA and NFL.
Coach Switzer has been honored with awards and special titles by football and news magazines, the Walter Camp Foundation, the Big Eight Conference, NCAA, the Washington Pigskin Club, The Sporting News, Playboy, Associated Press and United Press International. He has previously been inducted in the Oklahoma and Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2001, he was inducted into the National College Football Hall of Fame. Recently, a major athletic facility at The University of Oklahoma was named in Switzer‘s honor.
Barry Switzer‘s accomplishments have also included best selling author, successful businessman in a myriad of businesses and very quietly, an effective philanthropist. He is the founding organizer of the Swing for Sight Golf Tournaments, which have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Society for the Prevention of Blindness. For the past 30 years, coach Switzer has given his name, time and participation as Honorary Head Coach of the Oklahoma Special Olympics. Seventeen years ago he funded a private foundation at The University of Oklahoma, which provides non-athletic scholarships for minority students.
Today, Barry Switzer is retired and living in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife, Becky. They have three children, two step children and six grandchildren.