2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Mr. Gary Easley, ‘59
Gary Easley was born in the small town of Cassville, Missouri, the son of Henry and Marzell Easley. He grew up on a farm where his parents instilled the values of hard work and good moral character.
Upon graduation from Cassville High School in 1957, he was awarded an athletic scholarship to attend Oklahoma Military Academy. During his two years at OMA, he was on the Student Senate, was named Class Secretary, earned the Merit Ribbon, earned Military Proficiency Ribbon and was in the top 10 percent of his military classes. He also lettered in football, basketball and baseball. Attending OMA proved to be a major factor in his future life and career path.
After graduating from OMA in 1959, he continued his education at Southwest Missouri University in Springfield, Missouri, on a football scholarship. Following graduation, he taught social sciences and coached in Missouri for three years. In 1965, he was contacted by OMA for a teaching and coaching position in the high school division and decided to return to “The Hill.” While teaching and coaching, he earned his master’s degree in education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. After he moved from the high school to the junior college division of OMA, he continued to teach in the social sciences department as well as coaching the college golf team.
When the decision was made to close OMA, he remained on faculty during the transition to Claremore Junior College, which is now Rogers State University. Until his retirement, he continued to teach, was Division Director of the Social Sciences Department and coached the college men’s golf team. His teams qualified and placed in the national junior college golf tournament several times.
Along with his career in teaching and coaching, he served as an official for the Oklahoma High School Officials Association in football and basketball for 45 years. In 2015, he was admitted to the Oklahoma Officials Association Hall of Fame.
He was instrumental in the formation of Heritage Hills Golf Course in Claremore. He also serves as Trustee on the Rogers County Public Facilities Authority for Heritage Hills Golf Course.
“My years as a student at OMA and the impression they made on me, a farm boy from Missouri, made an easy decision to return to teach and coach. I was a student, teacher and coach on The Hill for 30 years.”
He resides in Claremore with his wife, Janice, and they have two daughters and four grandchildren.