Barry Lewis and his family are divided between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma Sooners. His sister, Karen Lewis Dowler ‘89 (left), Barry Lewis ‘87, father, Bob Lewis, mother, Kay Lewis, brother-in-law Doug Dowler ‘88 and nephew Kevin Dowler (right). (Courtesy Photo | Barry Lewis)

Barry Lewis was raised by diehard Oklahoma Sooners fans. Growing up, he attended nearly every single Sooners football game with his parents and sister wearing crimson and cream. 

He never imagined leaving his hometown of Oklahoma City, but he chose to attend Texas Christian University for college. Lewis, now 57, has never looked back. 

His love of football was nurtured at Gaylord-Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, but his passion for sports flourished at TCU, where he pursued religion and communication studies with hopes to later attend seminary school. 

The year was 1983, and Lewis was a freshman at TCU. Legendary TCU football coach Jim Wacker began his first season as the head coach.

“Jim Wacker was unbelievable. He was my indoctrination into the TCU fandom,” Lewis said. “TCU wasn’t all that good, but in ‘84 we went to the Bluebonnet Bowl, and that was my very first TCU bowl game.” 

Now, in 2022, the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs have their sights set on the program’s second Big 12 Championship against the No. 10 Kansas State Wildcats. The game will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington and broadcast on ABC. 

Lewis plans to be at any and all games featuring the Horned Frogs, including the Big 12 Championship, the College Football Playoff semifinals and, if they make it there, the finals. 

“If we make it, I will be going to SoFi Stadium when we go play in our national championship,” Lewis said. 

Lewis’s passion for TCU sports started the moment he stepped foot on campus. Except for one or two, he never missed a single football game during his college days. 

Lewis and his friends traveled to away games frequently. In 1984, the Frogs beat the Razorbacks 32-31 in Fayetteville, Ark., which became one of his favorite memories. (Courtesy Photo | Barry Lewis) 

Upon graduation, Lewis worked for American Airlines for 17 years and for the city of Grapevine for a decade after deciding seminary school wasn’t in the picture. Seven years ago, he created his own marketing company, Lewis Marking Partners.

In 2021, Lewis was approached by Ryann Zeller, co-owner of Killer Frogs, one of the largest online TCU fan communities. Zeller offered Lewis the opportunity to become a sports writer for Killer Frogs FanNation, which is part of Sports Illustrated’s SI.com network

“I knew I was interested when Ryann approached me,” Lewis said. “I was like, wait a minute, I get to write articles, which is something I like to do, about a team I love, and I get a byline on Sports Illustrated? Everything aligned.” 

After signing on as a reporter, Lewis was promoted to managing editor and publisher of the site and ushered in a new era of reporters. 

A bit of Killer Frogs history

Killer Frogs was established in 1997, and it has grown an international engagement with TCU fans all over the world. The website originally was a fan forum, a place for TCU fans to come and find an Internet community. 

In 2021, Killer Frogs was approached by the SI.com network to join FanNation, a network that covers sports news for the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, soccer and motorsports. In recent years FanNation has increased collegiate sports coverage, which promoted the partnership with Killer Frogs and the SI.com network.

When the Killer Frogs FanNation site launched on Sept. 14, 2021, the staff consisted of three writers, including Lewis. Just over one year later, Killer Frogs is a team of 12, with the site offering sports broadcasting and journalism students at TCU a chance to write and gain experience. 

Lewis owes his love of sports to his mother, a woman he describes as someone to avoid sports debates with because she always wins those. 

“All my sports fandom came from my mother – which most people don’t get the opportunity to say,” Lewis added. “Now I have the opportunity to share my history. I write about football, basketball, baseball – but I also get to highlight lesser known sports like the women’s rifle team and the men’s tennis team, who had great seasons.”

But, right now, the nation and Killer Frogs’ eyes are focused on AT&T Stadium, where the team controls its own fate. If TCU wins, the team will be in the College Football Playoff semifinals, playing in either the Fiesta Bowl or the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31.

“I feel pretty confident in TCU’s abilities,” Lewis said. “This is a unique opportunity for Frog fans. But I think the big question comes Sunday morning – is TCU going to Glendale or Atlanta?” 

Izzy Acheson is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at izzy.acheson@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Izzy Acheson

Izzy Acheson is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, she graduated from Texas Christian University in 2022 with a double major in journalism and environmental...