When Dr. Gerald Stockton retired from his post as Midwestern State's men's basketball coach following the 1993-94 season, the lead was succinct and to the point.
It said no other head coach in MSU history had accomplished more than Gerald Stockton.
Very few arguments will be made to the contrary as Midwestern State mourns the loss of its iconic coach. Dr. Gerald Stockton passed away at the age of 81 Monday morning.
“Midwestern State has had one of the best small college basketball programs for 40-plus years, and Gerald was the coach who really started that tradition. His teams developed Dome Magic,” said MSU President Jesse W. Rogers.
Stockton guided the Indians to seven District 8 titles, one Southwest Region championship and eight NAIA National Tournament appearances including a runner-up finish in 1975 and three semifinal appearances in 1979, 1993 and in his final season as a collegiate head coach in 1994.
He closed out a brilliant 24-year career at Midwestern State with a career mark of 493-328 and finished his 33-year college head coaching career with an overall record of 636-414.
Stockton's best win-loss record ever as a head coach came during the NAIA national runner-up season of 1974-75 when his squad boasted an impressive 31-6. The 31 wins still stand as the most by a Midwestern State basketball squad matched only when the 2009-10 team claimed the same number of victories on the way to the program's first NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance.
But it was Stockton who set the standard of round ball excellence winning 20-or-more games in 15 seasons including eight-straight from 1973-81. His teams constructed 70-game home court winning streak from 1973-77 on the playing surfaced later named in his honor on Nov. 22, 2002.
The highly decorated coach was named NAIA Division I Coach of the Year in 1994 and earned entry into the NAIA Hall of Fame upon his retired in 1995.
Stockton was instrumental in the success of four former MSU standouts that were named NAIA All Americans. They are Isaac Devore (1974, 1975), Henry Crawford (1978), Tony Forch (1979) and Robert Harris (1987). Harris (1986), Chuck Hall (1982, 1983), Bart Beasley (1993) and Jason Paty (1994) were also named NAIA Honorable Mention All-Americans while playing under Stockton.
Stockton kicked off his own head coaching career at Duncan (Okla.) High School in 1954 and continued into the college ranks with stints at Murray State (Okla.) (1955-60), Cameron (Okla.) (1960-62), Sul Ross State (1966-68) and finally at Midwestern State (1970-94). He also spent time as a graduate assistant coach at Utah under Jack Gardner in 1970 while pursuing his Doctorate.
At Murray State, his teams went to the National Junior College tournament twice and his 1962 Cameron bunch advanced to the tournament and came away with a fourth-place finish.
As a college player, Stockton started three years at Oklahoma State under legendary head coach Hank Iba and was an All-Missouri Valley selection his senior year. During the three years he played on the varsity, Stockton helped the Cowboys to three consecutive Top 10 finishes and one appearance in the Final Four and Great Eight.
A 1949 graduate of El Reno (Okla.) High School, Stockton had a stellar prep career, earning All-State and All-America honors as a forward his senior year leading the Indians to an undefeated season and a state title.
His educational background included a Bachelor of Science (1953) and Master of Science (1958) from Oklahoma State and a Doctorate (1970) from Utah.
Stockton also gained access into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame for his meritorious service as an athletics administrator at Midwestern State from 1970-84.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia, daughter Sherry Parker and husband Bob, daughter, Teresa Stockton, son Greg Stockton and wife Cathy. Also grand children, Jeff Geis, Josh Parker, Sydney Stockton, Mathew Stockton and Cole McWhorter and wife Stephanie. He is also survived by two great-grandsons Jakob and Ethan Plummer.
The family will be at Lunn's Colonial Funeral Home Tuesday evening from 6-8 p.m. Memorial services are set for 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to MSU Athletics, Hospice of Wichita Falls, or the Maskat Temple Transportation Fund.
Midwestern State Athletics invites all former coaches, players and fans to submit your memories of Dr. Gerald Stockton. Memorials will be posted to his page as they are received.
Dr. Gerald Stockton Memorial Form