‘There Won’t Be Another Toby Keith:’ Barry Switzer Reflects On A 30 Year Friendship

News 9's Robin Marsh had the privilege of sitting down with Coach Barry Switzer to reflect on his memories of Toby Keith and his profound impact on those around him.

Thursday, February 15th 2024, 5:11 pm

By: News On 6, News 9, Robin Marsh


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The world of country music mourns the loss of one of its stars, Toby Keith, who passed away at the age of 62 after battling stomach cancer. 

Keith was not only a legendary figure in country music but also a cherished friend to many, including Coach Barry Switzer, who shared a special bond with the Oklahoma-born singer. 

Coach Switzer remembers Keith as a larger-than-life personality who had a profound effect on everyone he encountered, but he said Keith shared a special connection with the Switzer family.

"Toby knew everybody, and everybody certainly knew him," Switzer said. “He had a lot of people he was close to, but he was close to my family.” 

Coach Switzer reminisced about their friendship that spanned three decades. 

The pair met in the 90s when Switzer was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and Keith was fresh on the country music scene. 

Keith was determined to play in an alumni football game despite Coach Switzer's warnings and broke his ankle on the first play. 

“I never let him get over that. He got crushed. I hated that for him, but he went on, and we had a few laughs about it,” Switzer said. 

As 86-year-old Switzer reflected on Keith’s untimely passing, he said he never imagined that he would outlive his friend. 

He said he finds himself grappling with the reality of attending Keith’s funeral service instead. 

“He says that at Coach’s funeral, I’m gonna blow it away, I’m playing all the songs he liked, I’m gonna take it over the top,” Switzer said. “Now it’s just, you know, boom. It’s I who am going to his service.” 

Switzer said the loss of Keith leaves an irreplaceable void in the world of country music. 

“There won’t be another Toby Keith,” Switzer said. “There’ll be some country music singers, but there won’t be a Toby Keith, not for Oklahoma anyway.” 

In a touching tribute to their friendship, Coach Switzer will share more in Robin Marsh's exclusive interview on Thursday night at 10 p.m. on News 9. 

Toby Keith Opens Up To News 9's Robin Marsh About His Battle With Cancer And Decades-Long Career (Part 1)

Toby Keith Opens Up To News 9's Robin Marsh About His Battle With Cancer And Decades-Long Career (Part 2)

Toby Keith Talks About Cancer Battle, Faith (Full Interview)

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