The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

June 16, 2012

Coaching carousel active in area

ENID — The high school coaching carousel is spinning in high gear across northwest Oklahoma.

Although higher-profile coaching changes at Enid High School — with football coach Steve Chard replacing Tommy Parker and Bill Mayberry coming on board to replace departed baseball coach James Peoples — as well as Rick Luetjen taking over for Shannon Watford at two-time defending 2A football champion Hennessey, have garnered area sports headlines, those are far from the only changes occurring.

Here is a rundown of some of the changes to date across the area:

• Garrett Powell is the new boys basketball coach at Timberlake, replacing Brent Rousey, who remains with the Timberlake school system as superintendent.

With his new assignment, Powell now is the head  fastpitch softball coach, assistant football coach, head boys basketball coach and head baseball coach.

“I enjoy basketball. I thought it was a way I could help out, so I decided to do it,” Powell said. “In a small school, you have to wear several hats. I’ve coached a lot of these kids since they were fifth-graders, so we’re going to roll into this all together. We all know each other so we’ll see if we can figure it out together.”

• At Kremlin-Hillsdale, head boys basketball coach Kelly McCoy has resigned from teaching and coaching and has purchased Enid Christian Book Store in Sunset Plaza.

“The opportunity presented itself, and God led us in this direction,” said McCoy, an 11-year coaching veteran. “There are parts of me that will miss it, but I won’t miss being on a bus at 11:30 at night in January.”

• Tana Turney has left Covington-Douglas to take the girls reins at Kremlin-Hillsdale.

• Justin Edsall has left Mulhall-Orlando, becoming the new boys basketball coach at Lomega, replacing Aaron West, who moves over to Okarche.

Edsall, a Lomega graduate, guided M-O to a 16-13 record last season, losing in the area consolation finals to Kinta.

He inherits a Lomega program that advanced to the semifinals of the Class B state tournament before losing 56-28 to Forgan.

“I’m excited to be going to such a good program,” Edsall said. “The big thing for me was the chance to return home. That made it a good deal.

“Working at Mulhall was such a great opportunity for me, and I learned a lot there.”

The Raiders return a solid nucleus of players that have playoff experience.

“They have been there, so they know what it takes to get to the state tournament,” Edsall said. “They understand the work it takes to get to that point. I’m ready for the season. The kids have been putting in the time in the weight room and working hard to be ready.”

• At Okarche, West, an eight-year head coach, comes over to assist his father Ray, a 39-year coaching veteran, with the boys hoops program.

“Lomega was a great place,” Aaron said. “We had a great run there and all of the people there were fantastic. It will be nice to coach with my dad. I am really looking forward to it.”

Aaron West has aspirations to return to head coaching but for now, the West tandem are concentrating on winning a state championship that has eluded Ray for 18 years at Okarche.

“Dad has done a great job of developing talent,” Aaron said. “We have a lot of the same philosophies, but it is still his team. We live in Okarche, so it will be nice to be able to get home earlier at night. This will give us a chance to spend more time with the family.”

• Medford lost boys basketball coach Ross Doane returns to Okeene to coach the Lady Whippets basketball program. During his 10-year tenure at Okeene, the Lady Whippets made five appearances in the state tournament.

“Okeene is a familiar place to me, and I know the expectations there,” Doane said. “I’ll get to coach my daughters as they come up.

“We loved it at Medford, and I was blessed all these years to have great players and great parents to work with.”

• Drummond’s Curtis Foster will return as boys basketball head coach after splitting time between the girls and the boys in recent years. Sam Hill will take over as the girls coach.

• Dover native Jan Schwartz is the new Ringwood girls basketball head coach. She replaces Lori Palmer, now assistant fastpitch softball coach at Enid.

• Cody Pair resigned as Garber’s head baseball coach to accept an assistant baseball coaching job at Claremore. Garber has not yet named a replacement.

• Finally, longtime Pond Creek-Hunter fastpitch softball coach Arnie Smith has left the school to go into the private sector after 15 years at the helm of the Lady Panthers.

“It was a tough decision, but it was one of them deals where you know you’ve been somewhere long enough,” Smith said. “Teaching and coaching were a calling, but leaving was a calling as well.”�

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