When Barry Switzer talks football, he talks about wins.
But more important than wins, Switzer said, are attitudes toward other people, willingness to work and the chance to have an impact on someone’s life.
Former Dallas Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners Coach Barry Switzer, a Crossett native, was the featured speaker at the Crossett Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet Feb. 9.
Switzer — a 79-year-old Crossett native whose professional career included championship wins as the coach of the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Dallas Cowboys football teams — was the guest speaker at the Crossett Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet Feb. 9.
While his speech included jokes about his early years in Crossett, including his father’s reluctance to have electricity connected to his house and a family history of criminal activity, much of it centered on his career as a football coach.
“My granddaddy was a state representative and my daddy was a bootlegger,” Switzer said. “I said I wasn’t going to do what my daddy did, because I didn’t want to go to the penitentiary.”
He could have been an attorney like other members of the family, but Switzer said coaching football gave him a chance “to have a profession to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of kids.”
For many people, football is about winning games, he said.
But at the college level, it’s about relationships.
“When recruiting, I go into your home, I know what the kid is like, what his dreams are, I know the father, I know the mother, I know how many jobs she is working,” he said. “I spend time off the field with him. My job is to develop him into a productive citizen for the next 50-60 years.”