Woods sideline

Enid head coach, Rashaun Woods, uses a tablet during the game against Jenks October 4, 2019. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — Muskogee decided to stay in-house for its coaching hire.

The Roughers on Tuesday made it official when the Muskogee school board approved the hiring of the team’s defensive coordinator, Travis Hill, as its new head football coach.

It also ended any speculation about Enid Plainsmen head coach Rashaun Woods and the Muskogee job.

Woods was among the candidates for the position and was considered, though not named officially, one of the two finalists for the Roughers coaching job.

The second-year Enid head coach acknowledged last week he interviewed for the job but also expressly stated at the time while he was willing to listen about the opening he was not dissatisfied in Enid.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with where I’m at,” Woods said when asked about interviewing at Muskogee. “That’s definitely not the case. I’m excited about what the future holds in Enid and what we’re building here. We’re definitely on the right track in my opinion.”

After a winless first season under Woods — who took John Marshall from a winless season to a state championship prior to arriving in Enid — the Plainsmen went 3-7 in 2020, snapping an 18-game losing streak, and picked up their first district win since 2017.

The Plainsmen’s improvement did not go unnoticed by district coaches who named him District 6A1-1 coach of the year. It obviously didn’t go unnoticed by others.

However, Muskogee athletic director Jason Parker cited familiarity with the Roughers program and community ties as important factors in hiring Hill, who coached East Central to a Class 5A state title in 2005.

“We’ve seen him (Hill) on a day-to-day basis throughout our evaluation, and he hits the mark in every area,” Parker told The Muskogee Phoenix newspaper on Tuesday. “Having that intimacy was important, but on the other side I think it was also him having that intimacy with us and having a plan already in place.”

Hill replaces Rafe Watkins at Muskogee. The Roughers finished 0-7 in last year’s COVID-shortened schedule.

Watkins was recently named head coach at Class A Warner.

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Ruthenberg is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Dave? Send an email to daver@enidnews.com.

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