One of the great golf teams in state history, the 1981 Oral Roberts University team that fell three shots short of winning a national championship, is being inducted into the Oral Roberts University Hall of Fame, the first team to be inducted into the hall.
The Hall of Fame induction is scheduled at 10 a.m. on Feb. 3 in the north lobby of the Mabee Center on the ORU campus and is open to the public. Also being inducted that day are soccer great Gentry Detter and baseball star Matt Whatley. The inductees will be honored at halftime of the men’s basketball home game that evening against Denver.
The five members of the team being inducted along with head coach Bill Brogden are Bill Glasson, Jim Kane, Bryan Norton, Joey Rassett and Jim Wilson. All are expected to attend. Oral Roberts also finished third in the NCAA Championship the previous year, a title won by Oklahoma State.
Brogden, 80, who coached at ORU from 1976-86, went on to guide the University of Tulsa for 30 years until the program was dropped in 2016. He has since helped out at ORU as a volunteer assistant coach at times.
The 1981 team finished two shots behind Brigham Young in the NCAA Championship. Rassert was a first-team All-American, Norton second team and Kane third team. Glasson, who went on to be a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour and a 2019 inductee into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame, was just starting his career and gave the team an intensity and competitive edge it needed.
“It was a special group,” Brogden said. “They got good real quick and carried it through almost to the end. I’m really looking forward to seeing them all.”
That ORU team won five times that season, four in the fall and once in the spring.
“We’re excited about the 2024 ORU Athletics Hall of Fame class,” Athletic Director Tim Johnson said. “When looking at candidates Gentry Detter and Matt Whatley, their individual accomplishments were exemplary and certainly propelled their teams to incredible success. We are also excited to announce the first team ever inducted into the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame. The 1981 men’s golf team finished national runner-up and were two strokes away from winning the NCAA national championship, the highest national finish ever for a team in ORU athletic history. Their success pushed the standard of our golf program and showed they can compete with anyone in the country.”
The second-place finish is the highest ever for any team in ORU history.
Below is a feature we ran in Golf Oklahoma in 2011.ORU-Titans