As the eyes of the world are on the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Alva, Oklahoma, reflects on its connections to the games. Dr. Jerry Brownrigg, Dr. Brock Schnebel, and Jill Lancaster are three with Alva and Olympics connections.
Dr. Jerry Brownrigg put Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Alva in the limelight with his boxing prowess during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. He won the Oklahoma state championship four times, claiming titles in 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1953. He won his first state championship in the Novice Class while in high school. As a prepster from Buffalo, he also was invited to try out for the United State Olympic team. On the national level, he reached the National Golden Gloves Finals in Chicago four times, making the finals twice, the semifinals once and the final eight once. In 1952, Brownrigg was a member of the Oklahoma Golden Gloves team that won the national championship. His boxing occurred in venues from Alva to Madison Square Garden in New York City. He is a member of the Oklahoma Boxing Hall of Fame and NWOSU Athletics Hall of Fame. Brownrigg attended Northwestern from 1940-52 and was a two-time varsity letter winner in football. He is currently the dean of the School of Practical Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and a professor of technology. He and his wife Donna lives in Alva.
Dr. Brock Schnebel played defensive end and center for the 1973 and 1974 NWOSU Ranger football teams but as you know, football isn’t an Olympic sport. (American football that is.) Dr. Schnebel’s Olympic connection is professionally. He went on to earn his medical doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 1981. Currently, he is a self-employed physician and orthopedic surgeon at McBride Clinic and the head team physician for Northwestern. He served as the 1996 Olympic team physician in Atlanta, 2000 head Olympic team physician in Sydney, and on the medical team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Jill Lancaster, the Head Men and Women’s Cross Country Coach, has coached two Olympic Trial qualifiers in the 100, 200 and long jump competitions. She placed 14th at the 1988 United States Olympic Trials in the Heptathalon. Lancaster’s previous coaching experience was a Troy University, University of Oklahoma, Toledo University, Kansas State, and the University of Kansas.