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OLIVER, RICHARD E. (1920–1987). Richard E. Oliver, first full-time commissioner of the Southland Conference, was born in Henderson, Texas, in 1920. He attended Kilgore Junior College and Southern Methodist University. Oliver became a sports editor for the Henderson Daily News, the Port Arthur News, and the Beaumont Enterprise and served as president of the Texas Sportswriters Association in 1949. He joined the Southland Conference as a director of information when it was formed in 1963 and became conference commissioner in 1971. He is credited with presiding over conference expansions, helping the Southland to attain Division I status in both men's and women's sports and securing automatic places for league champions in most NCAA-sponsored team championships. Oliver retired in 1987 and died in Beaumont on December 20 of that year.


Sporting News, January 18, 1988.

Diana J. Kleiner


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Diana J. Kleiner, "OLIVER, RICHARD E.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.