Roger Alan McKinnon was born January 8, 1948 in Shawnee, Okla. to Carl and Lou McKinnon. Roger grew up in Guymon, Okla. with two younger brothers in an athletic oriented family.
Roger graduated from Guymon High School in 1966, having earned 10 letters in three sports—football, basketball, and golf. He and his teammates were quarterfinalists in football and were defeated in the State Finals in basketball. He was in the top 10 each of four years at the State Golf Tournament. Coming out of high school, Roger was recruited in all three sports but chose to continue with golf after being recruited by both OSU and OU. He chose OU as he had been an OU fan since the mid-1950s when he attended his first OU game in Norman and became a fan for life. He did play as the number one man on the freshmen team and in his two years at OU obtained his “social degree” as his mother always said.
In the fall of 1968, Roger transferred to Panhandle State and found that going to class made the classroom work and grades much easier. He was employed as a student assistant for football and worked for Oscar Williams (a recent inductee into the Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame). Roger took one year off for military training, as he had enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves (served seven years). In 1972 he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting.
While attending Panhandle, Roger met and married Janell Marie Holloway. Before graduating in May of 1972, he qualified for the NAIA National Golf Tournament by virtue of winning the OCAC District tournament. He and Janell were also expecting the arrival of their first child in early June. This was to be the same time as his two-week summer camp at Ft. Polk, La. and the same time as the NAIA National in Roswell, N.M. Roger got a pass for the second week of camp to go to Roswell. Janell also gave him a pass as she felt their daughter would not be born until after all of this activity. (Famous Last Words!) His daughter Stephanie was born on the afternoon of the first day of the tournament. Roger and his coach, Jack Begley, drove home to Guymon that afternoon. Roger was able to see his bride and daughter that night. The next day it was on an airplane back to Roswell to complete the tournament. He finished in the top 20 and narrowly missed All-American honors.
College days were now over and Roger went to work with his father Carl McKinnon and his uncle David Long. Forty-four years later, he is still working at the Long & McKinnon Insurance Agency in Guymon. Roger and Janell had a second child in 1976. Cameron is also a graduate of Panhandle State. Unfortunately Roger lost Janell in 2013 after a short and sudden illness.
Over the years, Roger has been involved with and served in many ways in the community and at Panhandle State including: Guymon Chamber of Commerce, Guymon Ambassadors, Rotary, Sunset Hills Golf Board, Panhandle State Foundation and First Baptist Church. He served those groups as President of Rotary, the Golf Board and Panhandle State Foundation, as well as the treasurer of First Baptist Church. He is a lifetime member of the Panhandle State Alumni Association.
Panhandle State has always been one of Roger’s loves. He and Janell were booster parents to dozens of young men from the 1970 to the mid-1990s while this was an acceptable form of support for athletes. The McKinnon home was always open to these kids and it was a “home away from home” for many students through the years.
In 1998 Roger accepted the job as golf coach at Panhandle State, retiring in 2014. During his tenure, Roger’s teams won a handful of tournaments but he is most proud of the seven Scholastic All-American awards won by his players. He hasn’t been able to stay away from coaching, as he is currently the Guymon High School boy’s golf coach. In the spring of 2015 his team finished third in the State 5A tournament.
Family—Sports—Panhandle State have been a large part of Roger’s life and will continue to be. He has been coming to events in Goodwell since the mid-1950s, with more to come. Panhandle was good for and to Roger way back when and he has only attempted to pay it forward. Roger is humbled, grateful, and thankful for this honor and to join those who have already been inducted. Roger is proud to be a Panhandle State graduate and new member of the Alumni Hall of Fame!