Former football star, coach and prominent Tulsa Christian business leader Dave Rader is being urged to run for US Congress to represent the First District of Oklahoma which includes the Tulsa metropolitan area. The seat is currently held by US Rep. John Sullivan (R). In an exclusive to Tulsa Today, Political Consultant Josh McFarland said he will publicly announce the draft effort today at the Tulsa County Republican Woman’s Club luncheon at the Tulsa Select Hotel. A web site is also scheduled to go online today at www.draftdaveforcongress.com.
Coach Dave Rader graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa,
Oklahoma, then from the University of Tulsa with a B.S. in mechanical
engineering in 1980 after serving as the starting quarterback for the
Golden Hurricane in 1977 and 1978. Rader was an 11th round pick (295th
overall) in the 1979 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and was later
picked up by the New York Giants.
Rader coached football at Alabama (1983-1985) as the quarterbacks/receivers coach, Mississippi State (1986) as the offensive coordinator, University of Tulsa (1987) as assistant head coach then as head coach (1988-1999). Rader later returned to Alabama (2003-2006) as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, before returning to Tulsa to enter private business.
Rader’s life was profiled most recently by the Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers in October 2008, click here to read the story.
Coach Rader is known as a strong competitor who makes no excuses – win or lose. An example of that attitude Oklahoma Football fans appreciated came after the loss by Alabama to the top ranked Sooners September 6, 2003. After the game which Oklahoma won 20 to 13, Offensive Coordinator Dave Rader answered questions from the news pool:
Reporter: When you miss a play by a few inches on the sideline, is the problem the overall timing on the play, where the ball is delivered or the receiver’s route?
I don’t know. Ya’ll tell me. Our fans seem to think he was in. Those are the shots we wanted to take, and we had him. We just didn’t hit him. You go back on the games where offenses have beaten the Oklahoma defense, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, they hit those big chunks. We knew we had to do the same thing. We just didn’t get it done and they’re a very good defense. For those of you who know, my background is from Oklahoma and I have total respect for Coach Stoops and his staff. They do and outstanding job and they were well prepared tonight.
Reporter: How about the resiliency of these guys for the whole ball game to …
They’re Alabama football players. They didn’t come to this school to quit. They came here to win. So when we get behind and throw the pick on the first play … that’s one of the great things about coaching these student athletes is they will come back and they will fight the whole game. We thought that up until [Oklahoma] took that knee at the end we were going to have a chance. That’s what is so good about being around these guys because they just won’t quit. They will bounce back and play extremely hard next Saturday.
Should Rader accept the draft effort and enter the race, Republicans of the First District will decide between two well-known public personalities – one incumbent and one launching a new career – to represent them in the 111th Congress next year. The filing deadline for the office is June 2010. The primary is in July and if a runoff is required it will be held in August of 2010. The general election is November 2, 2010.