Former Centenary Star and Oklahoma Coach Passes Away
Friday, June 6, 2008

NORMAN, Okla.—Former Centenary men’s basketball All-American Burl Plunkett passed away on Thursday at his home in Valliant, Okla., at the age of 75. Plunkett played for the Gents from 1953-55 and later took the Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball program to the NCAA Tournament as head coach.


Plunkett led the Gents in scoring in back-to-back seasons during his time on Centenary’s campus. He averaged 17.9 and 14.4 points per game in the 1953-54 and 1954-55 seasons respectively. He was named a Little College All-American and was selected to the Helms Foundation All-American team in 1954.  


The Centenary star became a high school coach in Oklahoma and won three state championships, including consecutive titles at Byng High School in 1975 and 1976.


At Oklahoma, Plunkett went 52-36 in three seasons at the helm of the women’s basketball program from 1993 to 1996. He took OU to its second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history in 1995 and his 1994 Sooner squad won the NWIT.


Current Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale took over after Plunkett departed Norman. She said he left an indelible mark on the sport of women’s basketball in the state of Oklahoma, and he was beloved by his players.