Coming from a family with a rich golf background and a mother who played college basketball, Will Kuehne is quickly making a name for himself in a different sport — football.
Kuehne, a junior transfer from the Dallas Metroplex, has quarterbacked the Class 6A-I No. 2 Owasso Rams to a 6-1 record this season under new coach Bill Blankenship, a former University of Tulsa and Union High School football coach.
— YurView Oklahoma (@YurViewOK) October 12, 2017
Cox Communications is airing the Rams’ next two games on Yurview Oklahoma as part of the Ford Game of the Week — at Southmoore at 7 p.m. Thursday and at Norman North at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20. Steve Marshall and former OSU linebacker Deion Imade will call both games, which also will stream live on Yurview.com.
Many Oklahoma State University fans will remember Kuehne’s father, Trip, who was a three-time All-American golfer at OSU and the college golfer of year in 1995 when the Cowboys won the national championship.
However, Trip is best known for a match that he loss. In 1994, he finished runner-up to Tiger Woods in the U.S. Amateur championship despite leading the soon-to-be golf superstar by five holes with 12 holes to play.
Despite his amateur success, Trip declined to pursue a pro golf career. Instead he has found success in investment management with his firm Double Eagle Capital — the name a play on his golf success.
“It was never something I dreamed about,” Trip said. “I dreamed about playing in the Masters and the U.S. Open. I didn’t dream about playing the PGA Tour. I dreamed about working on Wall Street and managing funds and doing what I’m doing now.”
Although Will excelled at golf in his younger years, he also never dreamed about following in his footsteps of his father as a top amateur golfer. His true passion was football, particularly becoming a top-notch quarterback.
“I played a lot of golf when I was young, but once I got started in football I kind of dropped off a little bit,” Will said. “I still play a little bit for fun.”
Will’s aunt and uncle also excelled on the golf links. Kelli Kuehne won four straight Texas high school state championships for Highland Park, won the 1995 U.S. Women’s Amateur and an LPGA Tour tournament in a career shortened by injury. Hank Kuehne played golf at OSU and SMU and went on to win four PGA Tour events.
His mother, Dusti, was a four-year letterwinner in basketball at OSU after a standout career at Shattuck High School.
Last season as a sophomore, Will played virtually every position but on the line for small Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas. However, Trip had toyed with the idea of moving the family north. Besides being closer to his alma mater, where he is a football season-ticket holder, he wanted to move his wife to closer to her mom and Will closer to his private quarterback mentors, Joe Dickinson and Joe McCulley.
When Blankenship was hired as Owasso coach in January, Trip pursued the idea of moving the family to Owasso.
“We didn’t come to Owasso just to play football,” Trip said. “We liked the town. But where else can you play for a college coach who won a conference championship and won a bowl game?”
This season, Will has compiled some amazing passing stats, completing 69.6 percent of his passes for 1,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and a remarkable 135.9 quarterback rating. But he and his father downplayed his individual success, pointing to how the team is jelling under Blankenship. The Rams’ lone blemish was a 44-41 overtime loss to defending state champion Tulsa Union.
“He’s got great coaches that put the team in a very good situation to have success,” Trip said. “He’s got a good running back. The offensive line is good. The receivers are catching the ball and getting open. The defense is playing well. It’s a total team effort.”
“When you’re winning and we’re putting lots of yards through the air, that’s what makes me happy,” said Will, who has received a scholarship offer from the University of North Texas. “I don’t really care about the stats as long as we’re winning.”
In the meantime, Ernest William Kuehne IV is writing a new chapter in the Kuehne’s rich athletic tradition, this time on the gridiron, instead of golf course or basketball court.