By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
HENNESSEY, Okla. —
Marty McBride is returning to his northwest Oklahoma roots.
The former Aline-Cleo and Timberlake coach is leaving Chattanooga to take the reins as the girls basketball coach at 2A Hennessey.
“It’s closer to all of our families,’’ said McBride, who met with the Hennessey players Monday. “It’s a good family move for us.’’
He succeeds Mark Harmon, who is going into administration. The Lady Eagles were 16-9 this past season, losing to Wellston 53-33 in the regional losers bracket semifinals.
McBride, who has a career record of 332-81, was at Chattanooga for seven seasons. He took the school to the state tournament five times — once to the state finals and four times to the state semifinals.
“It was really hard leaving Chattanooga,’’ he said. “We had built up a strong program there, but sometimes you’re ready for new challenges. We were ready to move closer to home.’’
McBride’s oldest daughter, Brittany, a former All-American at Northwestern Oklahoma State and a former Northern Oklahoma College Enid star, will accompany him as an assistant coach.
“Brittany is going to be a big asset,’’ McBride said.
His daughter, Bailey, plays at Northern Oklahoma college Tonkawa and Bethanie, another daughter, lives in the Wakita area.
His son, Caleb, will be a junior at Hennessey next season.
“The boys program was exactly what we wanted for Caleb,’’ McBride said. “We really like coach (Brady) Page. It was the perfect storm for us.’’
Hennessey superintendent Joe McCulley sold McBride on the job as well.
“They made a big commitment to us and we’re going to make a big commitment to them,’’ McBride said. “We talked to all the girls today and they are ready to go.’’
McCulley told McBride of the school’s plans to improve the basketball facilities. Hennessey having won three straight state track titles was a selling point, too.
“They have some incredible athletes,’’ McBride said. “With our style of ball, we can use that kind of athlet in what we do.’’
McBride has coached a year at Crescent and five years at Timberlake before that. He doesn’t see any problems jumping up a class in competition.
“It’s really no big deal,’’ he said. “We played Class 5A and 6A teams at Chattanooga. Basketball is basketball. I’m fully aware of all the great teams in 2A and 3A around here. I’m excited about it.’’
McBride also will coach softball.