By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
David Zachary will leave an impressive football coaching legacy when he retires from the Deer Creek-Lamont school system at the end of the month.
Zachary had a record of 75-29 in nine seasons with the Eagles, including a perfect 13-0 record in taking DCLA to its first-ever state football championship in 2010.
As an assistant, he was a part of two other state championship teams — Chandler (1984) and Medford (1999). He had stops at Walters, Comanche and Waukomis as well.
Not bad for someone who didn’t play a down of high school football.
“It wasn’t because I was a great coach,’’ Zachary said. “We had great kids to work with. They made a commitment to get better and when that happens, it’s easy to coach.’’
Zachary plans to return to his hometown of Granite, where his parents still reside.
“Everybody who is kin to us lives down there,’’ Zachary said. “My parents took care of me for 19 years. It’s time for me to take care of them.’’
His son, Aaron, is being transferred to Fort Hood, Texas.
“I hoped to have stayed for another year,’’ Zachary said, “but this is a good time for me to get out of here. Everything is in good shape. My wife (a teacher at Medford) has 30 years in. I have 35. That’s long enough.’’
He said he will miss coaching and working with all the student body as the superintendent and will especially miss the northwest Oklahoma area.
“They were good hard-working kids and the parents let you coach,’’ Zachary said. “It was a good move for me to come over here. We used to play at a lot of homecomings. Nobody plays us for homecoming anymore.’’
Mike Thompson, Zachary’s longtime assistant, will be the new head football coach. Jim Lewis,the principal at Wayne, is the new superintendent.
“Everything is in good hands,’’ Zachary said.
Zachary’s two favorite memories were games with Shattuck — a 28-0 win in the 2010 state finals and a 16-12 win in the 2009 quarterfinals which broke the Indians’ 93-game winning streak.
“We had some kids that can say they never lost to Shattuck,’’ Zachary said. “There’s not many people that can say that. I can’t remember in 2010 having trouble with any kid. Doing well in the classroom was a priority for them.’’
Zachary might have gotten another title in 2011 had Connor Kirby, the News & Eagle 8-man Northwest Oklahoma Player of the Year, not been injured.
Zachary got the thrill of sharing Medford’s 1999 title with his son Aaron, who was a standout receiver and defensive back with the Cardinals.
“It was exciting to be part of those teams,’’ Zachary said. “There’s a lot of good coaches who didn’t get to play in a championship game, much less win one.’’
Zachary joked, “I wasn’t as I smart as I thought I was,’’ when he first became the head coach at DCLA.
“A guy like (quarterback) Eli Reese made us look like we could coach a bit,’’ Zachary said. “In junior high, he had to run for his life. I think he developed his skills from doing that.’’
He will miss working with the players the most. He helped at DCLA’s recent football camp, knowing it would probably be the last time he coached.
“The neat thing about small schools is you know the name of almost every kid in school,’’ Zachary said. “We’re a family. We have had some adversity here (two students died during Zachary’s 9 years). We helped each other through it. I don’t understand how people can handle adversity if they don’t have close friends or believe in God.’’
Zachary was the long-time president of the 8-Man Coaches Association where he developed more “family’’ ties.
“We’re pretty close in 8-man,’’ he said. “I know if my car breaks down anywhere in the state, I can call somebody and they would be there to help in 15 or 20 minutes.’’