Oscar Strahan: Beginnings of Bobcat Athletics

Who was Oscar W. Strahan?

Oscar Strahan's name still resonates on campus 100 years after his arrival in San Marcos. His namesake Strahan Arena has hosted basketball and volleyball games, convocations, and commencement ceremonies since the coliseum was built in 1982. While his name is mispronounced today (it sounds like the word "strand" without the "d" at the end), his legacy is the tradition of athletic excellence that he fostered in his 42 years as coach and athletic director.


When Strahan arrived at Southwest Texas State Normal College (now Texas State University) in 1919, the college had 303 students and no gymnasium. During his tenure , he oversaw conference championships for football (1921, 1924, 1929), men's outdoor track and field (1934, 1951, 1954), men's tennis (1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1959, 1960), and men's basketball (1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1959, 1960) Prior to his retirement in 1961, he saw Coach Milton Jowers lead the 1960 men's basketball team to the NAIA national championship - the first ever national championship for Texas State Athletics.