Bennett elected to Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

Jeff Bennett (70) earned the highest athletic honor ever received by a former OC student-athlete with his induction into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

“I was kind of surprised because I figured it had been long enough that if it was going to happen, it would have happened,” Bennett said. “But it’s exciting to know you’re in the company of the best athletes in Oklahoma. There are not many track and field athletes in the Hall of Fame. I’m honored to be among that group.”

Bennett won NAIA national championships in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1968 and in the decathlon in 1969 and 1970. He also won the Amateur Athletic Union decathlon in 1972, then placed fourth in the event at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1976 and was a charter honoree of the OC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.

In his post-Olympic life, he served two stints as an assistant track and field coach at OC and worked as the university’s associate dean of students for 13 years after spending spent almost three decades in public education.

In 2003, he retired as a lieutenant colonel after serving for 32 years in the U.S. Army National Guard.

“Jeff is extremely generous with his time in working with student-athletes,” Athletic Director David Lynn (95) said. “He is a true example of what it means to be Christ-like in everything he has done to represent OC. We are so proud that he is being recognized with this great honor.”

Spring 2017

View more stories from the Spring 2017 issue of Vision magazine.