Distinguished Alumnus 1998
Dr. Joseph "Bud" Sahmaunt


Dr. Joseph "Bud" Sahmaunt of Oklahoma City was born in 1938 at the PHS Indian Hospital in Lawton. He graduated from Elgin High School and received his associates from Cameron in 1958. He went on to earn a bachelors degree in history from Oklahoma City University, a M.A.T. from Southwestern State University and his EdD from the University of Minnesota.

Sahmaunt played on Cameron's varsity basketball and baseball squads and was named the school's outstanding basketball player and MVP of the Lawton All-State Jaycees Tournament. He played on the All-American Junior College Basketball Team, as well as serving on the student senate and as president of the ROTC Club.

"The many caring persons who worked at Cameron made sure a naive person like me was led in the proper direction," Sahmaunt says. "I feel that much of my success was due to the excellent counsel I was given."

At OCU, he was named MVP of the 1958 All-College Tournament. He was named to that event's All-Tournament team in 1958 and 1959. He was a member of the Daily Oklahoman's 1950's All-Star Basketball Team.

Sahmaunt was a coach, teacher, counselor and administrator in the Mustang and Cache schools. He led his teams to numerous athletic titles, including two conference championships, two district titles and a regional championship. His efforts at Cache earned him the honor of Conference Coach of the Year.

In addition to his public school career, Sahmaunt served as assistant administrator for the Indian Education Section of the Oklahoma State Department of Public Instruction.

Returning to OCU as a faculty member, he is a full professor of education and is in his 12th year as athletic director. During that time, the school's teams have won 10 NAIA national championships in tennis, softball and both men's and women's basketball.

He has been an associate dean and served the university as faculty athletic representative and an overseas ambassador. He is also dean of the Office of American Indian Services.

Sahmaunt is a member of the American Indian National Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City University Sports Hall of Fame and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Hall of Fame. He received OU's Ambassador Award for his service to American Indians. He is vice chairman of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and is a Kiowa Gourd Clan member.

Sahmaunt's mother, 93-year-old Carrie Sahmaunt of Meers, attended Cameron when she was a seventh grader. Three sisters, a niece and nephew are also Cameron alumni and a grandnephew is scheduled for graduation this year. He has a son and a daughter.