The State of Oklahoma was just 43 years old when Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School opened its doors in 1950. At that time, it was named Central Catholic High School. The school has been co-educational since inception and has remained at its original location. Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School has been home to over 9800 graduates. The school stays true to its rich traditions, even in the midst of exciting growth and changes. The school adopted the colors of kelly green and white in 1951, and in 1955 “The Irish” nickname was chosen, with “Clancy” as our mascot.
In 1959, Central Catholic High School was renamed Bishop McGuinness High School in honor of the school’s founder, Bishop Eugene J. McGuinness. In 1995, the students chose Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati as the school patron. He was a young Italian man who served the poor. He died in 1924 at the age of 24 and is in the process of canonization. In 1998, the new school chapel was named in his honor.
In 1960, Bishop McGuinness received unqualified accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Oklahoma Department of Education. The school is also affiliated with the National Catholic Educational Association, the College Board, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Athletics have played a part of the rich tradition that McGuinness enjoys. In 1961, the Bishop McGuinness Basketball Tournament was started and is the longest running high school basketball tournament in the state. In 1968, Bishop McGuinness became the first private/parochial school granted permission to participate in the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Association. Prior to that time, the school competed in and won numerous Catholic school state titles. Since joining the state association, Bishop McGuinness has claimed seventy-seven state team titles and several of our students have earned individual state championships. During the 2007–08 school year, McGuinness’ teams won eight state team titles and were rated by Sports Illustrated as having the 11th-best high school athletic program in the country.
In 1999, the Academic Team won the school’s first academic state title and repeated this achievement in 2000. They were named state runner-up in 2002 and 2006. In 2008, the Academic Team placed third at State.
Improvements to the school have occurred throughout the years in addition to the chapel. In 1984, a gym lobby area was added. Renovations to the stadium were made in 1987 and 2005. A new track and field complex was constructed in 1987 and its most recent resurfacing was in 2006. The theology and art center wing was built in 1991, and the baseball building was completed in 1998. The softball complex was renovated in 2000, and the auditorium received a complete face lift and was named the Father John Petuskey Performing Arts Auditorium in 2002.
In 2003, it was determined that the facility needed modernization, but was beyond renovation. Plans were drawn to build a new educational facility and join it with the existing west wing and theology wing. Major changes began that year with new perimeter fencing and landscaping. On August 22, 2006, The David Morton Educational Center opened its doors. It included new classrooms, the Father Stanley Rother Resource Center, new offices, and a large multi-function student commons area.
Phase II of the Building Faith Campaign was completed in the spring of 2008 and Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran officiated the dedication ceremony of the facilities. This phase included a major gym renovation, addition of a practice gym, and a new wrestling room. The school is also enjoying new practice facilities for music and dance, a new chemistry lab, and a new softball dressing room.
Our graduates are very loyal and supportive and many have settled in the metropolitan area to raise their families and are influential in the Oklahoma City community and beyond. Approximately 20% of our families represent two or more generations of McGuinness graduates.