Coaches Quote: Coaches Around OK Anonymously Weigh-In on Other Coaches 

Last Updated: October 4, 202318.5 min read

No more coach speak, we asked Oklahoma HS football coaches from around the state to tell VypePlusOK what current coach they admire the most and why.

Their answers were anonymous, so they felt free to say whatever they wanted. Here is what we got! 

“Probably coach Brent Marley at Rejoice Christian due to his high level of success but maintained level headlines.”

“Brent Marley – Rejoice Christian. He is who I admire most because of the person he is. He is an outstanding human being, and it inspires me to better myself.”

“Brent Marley – Rejoice Christian. Because he is always representing Christ in his walk and the way he does things.”

“Coach Jarrett Hurt and JJ Tappana Both coaches just do everything the right way and they don’t take shortcuts. Which carries over year in and year out with wins.”

“Hard to name just one so I would have to say Travis White from Tipton and Jeff Coakley form Mountain View-Gotebo.”

“Travis White – Tipton. His teams are always disciplined, tough, and play hard.”

“Bill Blankenship at Owasso for all the obvious reasons.”

“Jones Offensive Line Coach. (can’t remember his name) This summer he showed his commitment to helping all lineman get better by organizing a lineman camp! It was a very effective camp ran by high school coaches from all over and it was a great success!”

“Brad Ballard – Tuttle He has a love for his athletes as well as the game. Brad’s acts very professionally and has respect for opposing teams and coaches.”

“Brian Smith – Covington-Douglas. Because his offense keeps you on your toes one mistake and it’s 6. He’s a great coach!”

“Darwin Franklin – Millwood. He is a great coach, but more than that, he is a really good man. He sent a letter checking up on a kid that had to leave the field against Millwood. That act showed how much he truly cares about kids and exemplified a trait that we hope to instill in our players. It’s easy to get caught up in everything that goes into football, but that act was a great reminder to me about seeing the big picture and the things that truly matter.”

“Gary Manuel – Seiling. His kids always play hard, inspired football. They are always well-prepared and have great schemes on both sides of the ball.”

“Willis Alexander – Putnam City. Coach Alexander has been in the game for a long time. He has had success everywhere he has been. Coach Alexander does a great job of establishing his culture and holding his athletes accountable.”

“Mike Kirtley – Tonkawa He’s had a long and very successful career. His teams are always well coached and physical. You definitely have to have your A-game when you face him.”

“Mike Kirtley – Tonkawa. He always has his team ready to play and they play their guts out for him. Tough nose defense mindset.”

“John Greenfield – Davenport. Just inducted into the 8-man Coaches Hall of Fame this summer. Great guy that has been doing this for 20+ years after coaching in 11-man for several years (total around 40-45 years -?) He is an example to all the younger guys of how to do it right. Coach Greenfield is “old school”, but really cares about kids and works hard to make sure they know that. He is also very competitive and puts teams on the field that know how to play the game and play extremely hard.”

“Brett Manning – MacArthur. Coach Manning runs a 1st class program, his schemes are always tough to defend. Off the field he’s a great dad and community leader.”

“Chris Risenhoover, offensive coordinator at Muskogee.  His stuff is great.  I pick up plays from him all of the time.”

“Joe Medina – Cascia Hall. I first met coach Medina on a Saturday morning to trade VHS tapes in 2002. I was a young coach in my 2nd year of coaching & had dreams of one day building a program as he had just begun to do at Cascia Hall. Coach Medina has been a mentor and friend over the past 21 years. I admire Coach Medina because he runs his program the right way. He loves his players/coaches, he coaches hard as the head coach, he has an organized plan, he is passionate about the game, & he is passionate about his program. Also, private schools many times get lumped together and labeled for breaking rules, like “recruiting”. Coach Medina, in my opinion (as an opponent to him), has ran his program with integrity over the years.”

“Trevor Powers – Hooker. Trevor is a coach that I highly respect and think does an amazing job with his program. He has been a staple of consistency for Hooker and has been highly successful year in and year out. He does a great job of adapting and making the right adjustments to get the most out of his young men.”

“Brad Ballard – Tuttle. He consistently has his teams at the top of 4A and competing for a title. Even though we have an intense rivalry and hate to lose to each other, he’s very respectful of our players and our coaches.”

“Coach Cayot – OBA. I’ve seen throughout the years, and he has always had consistently winning programs. He also builds good character in his players.”

“David Kerr – Pond Creek-Hunter. I know Dave is not currently coaching football, but I admire how Dave spent so many years at PC. He mostly won championships, but always found a way to compete even when they weren’t the most talented teams. We played them when I was at Midway in the first round in 2004 and we were quite a bit more talented and they gave us everything we wanted scoring first on a shovel pass, never forget it. Taught me a valuable lesson about our DE’s getting up field too much. lol. We played again a year later when I came to Dewar and have played against each other a few times since then. Always very prepared and his players always play to the best of their ability. His persistence to always being the best but also impacting the lives he coached. I know it was always important to him because I was around him with his players and former players and they love him. Dave came from a great program at Morrison and was coached by one of, if not the best to ever roam the sideline in Dennis Casey. I think he has a lot of the same qualities. Dave will be in the Hall of Fame! I admire him for so many reason, but mostly because he is a great friend who is always willing to help guys like me and other coaches old and young in this business.”

“Dwayne Hudson – Perkins-Tryon. What they do at Perkins, how hard their dudes play, so impressive. They take some of their average high school kids and turn them into players.” 

“David Tennison – Beggs. Last 10 years Beggs has been one of the top Football programs in the state. Coach Tennison and his staff are a top staff in Oklahoma.” 

“Mark Barrett – Thackerville. I remember watching him coach years ago at Sasakwa and I liked his style. He still brings the same kind of intensity to the sidelines now as he did back then. I love that.”

“In terms of opposing coaches, we don’t necessarily play these teams but usually do off season camps with them during the Spring and Summer. First one I could name is Coach Blankenship of Owasso, Fredrick of Union, and Montgomery from Bixby. I like how they established a culture within their programs from 1st grade all the way up.”

“Zack Maynard – Elk City. He is a good man and one of the only coaches I face who does not recruit! We have rules against it, but the OSSAA won’t enforce it and a lot coaches don’t have the integrity to follow it!”

“Coach Riggs from Jenks has done such a fantastic job at Jenks he took over for the legendary coach Trimble and those situations are never as easy as they seem.”

“Brad Beller – Washington and Darwin Franklin – Millwood”

“Justin Jones (Norman North) and Keith Riggs do a great job at their respective schools. They both work hard, treat kids the right way. Do a great job of building their staffs and raising up coaches. Justin is also Executive director of OFBCA. He is very diligent in that role as well. That takes a lot of time and energy. He is a man of character and integrity.”

“Justin Jones – Norman North. Coach Jones does things right and continues to win no matter who he is competing with. He coaches with class & his kids play football the right way. He’s been around for a long time but will always take time to talk to any coach at any level to give them advice & be a text or phone call away to answer questions. His work off the field for HS Coaches is just as important & he works incredibly hard at it.”

“Brad Beller – Washington. He has done a great job at Washington. His kids are always well prepared and well coached. He is a man of incredible character and integrity.”

“Brad Beller – Washington. Always prepared and well coached. Gets the most out of his athletes and demands elite execution. He does a phenomenal job.”

“Levy Adcock – Will Rogers. I really admire coach Adcock. He has done a tremendous job at Rogers and has them believing they can win. He also prepares them for the future.”

“Jeff Broyles – Heavener. Coach Broyles is just a stand-up guy that I’ve always thought was in it for all the right reasons. He’s never looked for individual accolades but is always looking for a way to get his players recognized. Just a solid man.”

“Dale Condict – Wagoner. Coach has been setting the standard in high school football for a long time. every time I have had the chance to coach against him, he has always shown class. as well as great sportsmanship. it is evident why he has won the championships he has.”

“Dale Condict – Wagoner. The accolades that he has been able to achieve at Wagoner are inspiring to small town coaches.” 

“Rocky Martin – Norman. Coach Martin works extremely hard, players play hard and seems to have positive relationships with staff and players.”

“Larry Newton – Eufaula. Continued success and classy stand-up guy.”

“Kevin Jones at Collinsville has really built a consistent program. Kids are always prepared and well coached.”

“Travis East – Verdigris. Travis is a great character man who runs a quality program. Travis is very involved in program development and hosts team camps, 7-on-7 tournament, and scrimmages. Our team has been to Verdigris in all of those, so we have witnessed the heart of Travis East to impact and change the lives of young men.”

“Jeff Wardlaw. He always had his teams ready to play their best.”

“Kevin Gordon – East Central. He loves on his kids in a very bad situation. They are in a tough district, and the scoreboard has to hurt. However, when you see him… on the field or off the field he is the same every time. He smiles from ear to ear and is so encouraging to his players and others. Great man!”

“Cory Bales – Morrison. Year in and year out he has tough hard nose teams and his offense is always hard to stop!” 

“Cory Bales – Morrison. He has done it the right way for years and his teams are always coached up well. Every time we play his team, they know exactly what’s coming and when. He makes Friday nights difficult. 

“Travis Hill – Muskogee. Took over a struggling program and now has them competing for a state championship.”

“Travis Hill – Muskogee. Did a great job coaching everywhere that he has been. Really good mentor for me.”

“Kyle White – Edmond Santa Fe. He has a true servant’s heart and is doing things right by the kids. He coaches his team to a high level, develops his athletes, but more importantly develops their hearts to love the Lord and want to grow into a good husband and father.”

“Larry Newton – Eufaula. We coached together for 6 years at Skiatook and built a great friendship at that time. We became rivals when I took the job at Checotah. We competed against each other for 7 years. Now that I have moved on to Sequoyah it was a no brainer to play each other again. You can’t win them all so If I am going to lose there is no other person I would rather lose to.”

“Josh Newby – Ardmore. Newby does a great job. He cares about his kids and does a great job getting them ready to play each week.” 

“Josh Newby – Ardmore. Coach Newby is a professional. His teams have discipline, and he always gets the most out of them. He is truly one of the good guys in this profession.”

“Josh Newby – Ardmore. Coach Newby is not only one of the best coaches in the state of Oklahoma, but he is also one of the absolute best men in our profession. He has a way of connecting with all kids and has the passion and desire to make a difference in every young man’s life and is more concerned with that than a win loss record and that is the true testament of a successful coach.”

“Brett Jones – Bristow. Brett’s dad Rich hired me at Jay as an assistant in 1984. I spent 10 years assisting him at Jay, and Broken Bow. I got to watch Brett grow up & actually coached him every year he played at Broken Bow. Our families remain close to this day.” 

“Jeremy Thompson – Central Sallisaw. He has been there I know over 8 years but he has had good teams and bad teams but no matter their talent level they will play hard and physical. He has done a great job at Central.”

“I appreciate the way Corey Henry from Afton runs his program. He is a class act and though he doesn’t always have the best talent, the effort and toughness his team bring proves he gets the best out of them. I think he does a fantastic job getting his team to compete.”

“Kyle Fowler – Spiro. Coach Fowler was one of my high school football coaches. He is very knowledgeable of the game and feeds into the lives of his student athletes. He has been able to have success at every stop he has made, which speaks for itself being part of the 2020 OCA Hall of Fame class. I believe he has led 4 different teams to the playoffs over his career and continues to have success back at his alma-mater, Spiro. He has been able to give guidance and advice at many different times and willing to do so.”

“Tony Tomberlin – Ryan. He has been at the same school for over 15 years. Through the ups and downs, he is committed to Ryan.”

“Brad Gilbert – Tahlequah. Does a great job with minimal talent and is one of the most genuine people I know.”

“Colt Allison – Hobart. He always has an organized group that does a great job motivating his kids to be old school tough. Their kids have a great knowledge of the game. He is a great communicator, involved in many different organizations to promote his kids as well.”

“Colt Allison – Hobart. I like the mentality that his kids play with. Every year you’re going to have to bring it when you’re playing Hobart.”

“Weston McGill – Henryetta. They were picked last in the district last year and ended up 4th. He and his staff did a great job.”

“Bret Tyler – Frederick. Coach Tyler has done a great job over the last 7-8 years at bringing stability, tradition, toughness back to a historically great program. His teams have improved every year and are always well prepared. Coach Tyler works hard and coaches all aspects with integrity.”

“Loren Montgomery – Bixby. Good friend, he stayed true to what he believed when taking the position at Bixby, could have let things slide when he arrived back in 2010 and his first team ended with 30 players due to his standards were set at a high level. Now his kids expect to win and have set the standards even higher. With all the success Loren is no different than when he won his first ball game as a HC.”

“Loren Montgomery – Bixby. Loren is obviously well renowned for his success at Bixby but what I admire most is the way he has built his program and their team culture. There is a reason Bixby has been so successful and it’s not just because they talent. Winning is a byproduct of the good people they are striving to develop in their program.”

“Dakota Evans – Pryor DC. Dakota and I got to work together for 3 years in my time at Pryor and it was definitely a very beneficial time for my growth as a coach. He is always looking to get his players in the best positions to be successful while also building great relationships with the kids he coaches. He’s a great coach and a program will be incredibly lucky to have him lead their team as their head coach and I think that opportunity will be in the near future.”

“Kylee Swenney – Barnsdall. He has built a great program over the last several years. What he has been able to do there is very impressive.”

“Brian Severin – Timberlake. He has been at the same school for many years and continues to pump out quality teams’ year in and year out. Has also be willing to help me when I have asked for advice.”

“Lynn Shackelford – Cashion. I have a ton of respect for the program Coach Shackelford has built. Their kids play hard and are well coached in all facets of the game. He and his staff do a great job of preparing their kids for success every week.”

“JL Fisher – Crescent. He is very humble and wise. A great ball coach but also a very personable guy. He seems to care a great deal about the kids on his team.”

“JL Fisher – Crescent. A physical ball club that is well disciplined.”

“Nick Warehime an Assistant at Jones. He was my High School Defensive Coordinator/Linebacker Coach. He was the first coach that showed me what it means to coach kid’s hearts. He inspired us by believing in us as people first & players second. We would have grabbed a grenade if he told us that was how we could win a game on Friday Night. I would be working at Tinker Air Force base like my dad did for 30 years of Coach Warehime wouldn’t have inspired me to coach by changing my life with his care and belief in me.”

“We don’t compete against each other anymore, but I am a huge fan of Darrell Hall at Midwest City. We have been friends for over 20 years, and he is one of the finest men in coaching. He is always the same person no matter the situation. We played against each other when he was at Star Spencer, and I was at Broken Bow and we developed a lifelong friendship. Coach Hall is truly what is right in the coaching profession today.” 

“Matt McCreary – Allen. He is more old school as in he wants to beat you not embarrass you by running up the score. His teams always play hard and with great sportsmanship.”

“Brett Manning – MacArthur. He does a great job coaching his kids the right way and building a great staff.”

“Rusty Morgan – Cushing. Been helpful to me. He always has his kids coached up well. He does a great job of developing young men. Coach Morgan does a great year every year!”

“Jeremy Thompson – Central Sallisaw. Very structed program. On years that they maybe not as talented, he still has them working and playing at the highest level.”

“Matt Weber – Marlow. He has been able to turn programs around that had success previously but had fallen on hard times before he went there. He has done that at every school he has been at.”

“Josh Presley – Stroud. After a couple of this years he has returned Stroud to the top of our district. His Stroud Tigers made a deep run in 2022 and they should compete for a gold ball in 2023. He has done an outstanding job of continuing the strong football tradition at Stroud. Next is Coach Bill Williams at Hartshorn. His squad will challenge Coach Presley’s squad for a district title and a deep run in the playoffs. Coach Williams always has his kids built tough and ready to run through a wall. He only had one upper class man in 2022, the majority of his team was made of freshman and sophomore’s and they finished second in the district. Both men are respected in our profession and each one has been a part of or built highly successful programs. They have both been quality professionals offering advice and suggestions on how to build successful programs.”

“I admire what coach Severen has been able to accomplish. He always has his program playing at a very high level. I also think he runs a great program in terms of sportsmanship and does things in a great way. Coach House is also someone who I have great respect for. Especially with the challenges he faces geographically at Boise City. He does an excellent job getting his teams ready to play and they are always coached up. All C1 coaches have their boys ready to play every Friday. It is so fun to be in this district and compete week in and week out.”

“Joe Price – Plainview. I feel like his kids are always competitive and are ready to go play every week. He is willing to help you out and answer questions at any time.”

“I really admire Coach Robert Bernard at Fairview. Very intelligent, very humble. His teams are always well coached and play hard.”

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