SWOSU Athletic Hall of Fame selects three to be inducted in 2019 class

SWOSU Athletics 
Doug Self, Sports Information Director

WEATHERFORD – On behalf of the SWOSU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, Athletic Director Todd Thurman is pleased to announce that three individuals have been selected for induction in the Class of 2019. Those who will be joining the SWOSU Hall of Fame this year are Mike Brown, Julie (Dawson) Johnson and Richard O’Hara.

The 2019 SWOSU Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 23, at 11:00 am in the Skyview Suite of the Pioneer Cellular Event Center prior to a SWOSU Basketball doubleheader against Great American Conference foe Ouachita. Tickets to the induction ceremony are available for $25 apiece and can be purchased by calling the SWOSU Athletic Office at 580-774-3068.

Mike Brown was born and raised in Weatherford before becoming a two-sport standout at SWOSU, playing football and baseball for the Bulldogs in the mid-1970’s and earning multiple all-conference honors in both sports. He was a captain and two-year starting wingback for the football team, helping the 1977 team to 11 consecutive wins and the No. 1 ranking in the country before they fell to Abilene Christian in the Apple Cup, which served as the NAIA National Championship game. On the baseball diamond, Brown was a three-year starter at second base and shortstop despite not playing his senior year. During his career at SWOSU, Brown had the distinction of playing for four Hall of Fame coaches in Otis Delaporte, Cecil Perkins, Cecil Devine and Larry Geurkink. He graduated from SWOSU with a business degree in 1978 and then went into the insurance business, which he has continued for 40 years. He now owns and operates American Insurance Group with his son Matt and he has served as the Mayor for the City of Weatherford for the last 15 years, being named Mayor of the Year for Large Cities in Oklahoma in 2010. This is the third Hall of Fame induction for Brown, who was inducted into the Weatherford High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Oklahoma Municipal League Hall of Fame in 2016.

Julie (Dawson) Johnson graduated from Arnett High School in 2001 and enrolled to play basketball at Oklahoma State following a decorated career that including being a two-time Daily Oklahoman Super 5 and Player of the Year selection. In 2003, she transferred to SWOSU to be able to compete for the Lady Bulldog Basketball and Rodeo teams. Dawson made an immediate impact on the hardwood, being named the Lone Star North Newcomer of the Year and she helped SWOSU improve in each of her three seasons, which concluded with a Lone Star North Division Championship in 2005-06. She was a three-time First Team All-LSC North selection and the 2005-06 LSC North Division Player of the Year after averaging 15.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. That same season, Dawson became SWOSU’s first All-American of the NCAA Division II era after she earned an Honorable Mention spot on the Division II Bulletin All-America Team. Her career total of 1,385 points continues to rank sixth in program history while her 641 rebounds is the fifth-most in Lady Bulldog history. Dawson was also a member of the SWOSU Rodeo team for three years, competing in breakaway roping, goat tying and barrel racing. During her senior season, she was a member of a Central Plains Regional Championship team and qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in breakaway, helping her team to a third-place national finish.

Richard O’Hara grew up in Elk City, where he was an all-around athlete before enrolling at SWOSU in the fall of 1964 to play basketball and baseball for the Bulldogs. He lettered in both sports during all four years at SWOSU, never missing a practice or game for either team. On the court, he helped SWOSU to the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference (OCAC) Championship in 1967 and was selected to the all-conference team, while also earning the ‘Blue & White Award’ which was voted on by his teammates three consecutive years. In baseball, O’Hara helped the Bulldogs to a conference championship in 1967 and was a three-time all-conference selection. As a senior, he led the team with a .425 batting average and was the President of the ‘O’ Club. After graduating from SWOSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1968 followed by a Master’s Degree in 1971, O’Hara started a coaching career that started at Elk City High School coaching multiple sports before heading to Plainview, Texas, to coach basketball from 1977-79. He then transitioned into administration, returning to Weatherford, where he worked as the Superintendent until 1990 before heading to accept a similar position in Ardmore. O’Hara’s final stop was in Bridgeport, Texas, where he was the Assistant Superintendent for two years before taking over as the Superintendent in 2000 and holding that position until his retirement in 2008. He has served as the SWOSU Alumni President and is currently in his second year as a Sportsmanship observer for the OSSAA in basketball.