In Oklahoma sports, 2010-19 was an eventful decade and rife with change.
At the starting line of 2010-19, Lincoln Riley was East Carolina’s first-year offensive coordinator.
Todd Graham was the University of Tulsa’s head football coach.
After having coached the Oklahoma State basketball program for only one season, Travis Ford was given a revised, 10-year contract.
Archie Bradley was Broken Arrow’s quarterback, while Alex Ross was a dominant Jenks running back and Tyler Lockett an impact wide receiver at Booker T. Washington.
In the 2010 NFL draft, six of the top 24 picks overall had been on Bedlam rosters: OU’s Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams and Jermaine Gresham; and OSU’s Russell Okung and Dez Bryant.
With 21-year-old Kevin Durant, 21-year-old Russell Westbrook and 20-year-old rookie James Harden, the 2009-10 Thunder recorded 50 victories. At the end of its second season in Oklahoma, the Thunder stressed the Los Angeles Lakers in a first-round playoff series.
As Durant captured three NBA scoring titles and was voted the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player, and as he and the Thunder made deep runs in the postseason, he was voted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
An excerpt from his Hall of Fame bio: “Kevin Durant has established himself as a pillar of the Oklahoma community.”
At that time, he was the most popular person in the state.
A few months later — on July 4, 2016, a date which will live in Oklahoma infamy — Durant announced he would be signing with the Golden State Warriors.
Eleven months after that, after 18 seasons of coaching OU football to one national title and 10 Big 12 championships, Bob Stoops jolted Sooners fans with a totally unexpected retirement.
The most shocking story of the decade? It’s an exact tie: Durant’s move to the Warriors and the Stoops news conference of June 7, 2017.
At the beginning of this decade, the average Oklahoma household income amounted to $42,072. The most recent updated figure I can find is from 2018, and it’s $50,051.
While the middle class got a bit of a positive bump, the head-coaching class soared to pay levels that not so long ago would have seemed unimaginable.
In 2010, Stoops made $3.875 million while OSU’s Mike Gundy collected $1.925 million. At the University of Tulsa in 2013-14, football coach Bill Blankenship made $630,000 while basketball coach Danny Manning collected about $400,000 while driving his team to the Conference USA Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 2019 compensation for those same jobs: OU’s Riley currently gets $6 million and Gundy gets $5.125 million, while TU’s Philip Montgomery and Frank Haith each are in the $1.5 million neighborhood.
In 2010-16, Jenks and Union sustained their hammerlock on large-school football supremacy. Union was the champion in 2010, 2011 and 2016. Allan Trimble drove Jenks to four in a row (2012-15). Over a period of 21 seasons (1996-2016), Jenks and Union combined to win every title in the state’s largest classification.
Everything changed after Bill Blankenship was hired to coach the Owasso Rams. Owasso was the Class 6AI champion in 2017 and 2019. In 2018, Broken Arrow finally captured a title — the first in school history.
For OU football, 2000-09 was a decade for the reestablishment of championship standards. After a terrible decade of the ’90s, the Sooners in 2000-09 captured one national title, six Big 12 titles and recorded a total of 110 victories.
In 2010-19, the Sooners captured seven Big 12 titles and recorded 109 victories. There were four College Football Playoff appearances, but no CFP wins and no national championship.
For Oklahoma State football, 2000-09 was a decade for establishing positive consistency. There were seven winning seasons. In 2010-19, Oklahoma State had by far its most successful decade with six seasons of at least 10 wins and 93 victories overall.
The most accomplished of all OSU football teams — the 2011 Cowboys — were Big 12 champions and finished 12-1.
TU’s football decade was defined by inconsistency: four seasons of at least eight wins and five seasons of at least eight losses.
While Buddy Hield-led OU made a surprise run to the 2016 Final Four (during which the Sooners were crushed by Villanova), this decade in Oklahoma college basketball fell far short of what was seen during the 1990s and 2000s.
Attendance has continued to plummet. For some games at TU and Oral Roberts, there almost isn’t any attendance at all. The Golden Hurricane still has not recorded an NCAA Tournament victory since 2003.