Coaching Carousel

Ryan Swallow and Bunyan Johnson, pictured, have been hired to become head coaches at Henryetta High School in 2018-19. Swallow will take over the head softball duties, while Johnson will roam the sideline this coming basketball season as the head boys basketball coach at HHS. Both Swallow and Johnson were coaches at Beggs Public Schools this past school year.

By LARRY OWEN

Free-Lance Sports Editor

 

Okmulgee County sports fans will notice several changes in the head coaching ranks at five of the eight high schools in the 2018-19 school year.

There will be a total of 12 new head coaches roaming the sidelines around the county this upcoming sports season.

Four of the six county football squads will have new leaders on Friday nights in 2018, while four schools will see changes at the girls basketball position for 2018-19.

There will also be two county schools with new head coaches in high school softball this coming school year, while one school will have a new head coach in boys basketball when the 2018-19 season gets underway at the end of November.

Morris will have the most coaching changes in 2018-19 with five, followed by Beggs with three. Okmulgee, Henryetta, and Wilson will have two new coaching changes apiece next sports season.

Seven head coaching positions have already been filled, while schools are currently taking applications for the remaining coaching vacancies.

The four county schools that will have new head football coaches are Okmulgee, Morris, Beggs, and Wilson. Three of those positions have been filled with Wilson being the only county school to currently be without a head football coach.

Guiding the Okmulgee Bulldogs in 2018 will be Bruce Munden. Munden takes over the coaching reins of the Bulldog gridiron program after the passing of Carl Lee. Lee guided the Bulldogs on Friday nights for the last three years, amassing an 11-20 record which included a trip to the playoffs in 2016.

For the first time in five years, the Beggs Golden Demons will have a new head coach guiding the team on Friday nights after Lee Blankenship was hired as the head football coach at Bartlesville. David Tenison will lead the Demons onto the field in 2018, taking over the head coaching reins of the talent-rich Beggs football program and will return most of the players from last year's state runner-up squad. In five years at the helm of the Beggs football program, Blankenship amassed a record of 46 wins, 16 losses and trips to the postseason each season.

The Morris Eagles will have a new sideline general when they take the field in 2018. Robert Daniels takes over the reins of the Morris football program following the resignation of Jerry Hanlin, who guided the Eagles from 2015-2017. Daniels becomes the third different head coach at Morris in the last five years, as John Walker guided the Morris football program in 2014. In three years under Hanlin, the Eagles were a combined 6-23.

The Wilson Tigers will enter their first year of district play in 2018 with a new head coach guiding them after Ronnie Titsworth stepped down from the post during the offseason. In the first two years of existence, the Tigers were a combined 4-14, including a 3-7 record in 2017.

Wilson is also currently taking applications for the girls basketball head coaching job, as Titsworth vacated that position as well.

Okmulgee is also currently taking applications for its girls basketball head coaching position after Kevin Rucker resigned during the offseason.

Morris will also have new head coaches in girls basketball, boys basketball, fastpitch softball, and slowpitch softball in 2018-19.

Chris Ray stepped down as head slowpitch softball coach after accepting the head coaching job at Tahlequah High School, while the girls basketball and fastpitch softball teams will have a new head coach for the first time in quite awhile after longtime coach Jonathan Clay vacated both positions to accept a job at another Oklahoma public school. Applications for the softball positions are currently being taken by Morris Public Schools, while the girls basketball position was given to Ty Allen, who was the head girls basketball coach at Mason. The boys head basketball coaching job went to Morris assistant coach Jerry Peaker. Peaker will take over the coaching reins of the Eagle cage squad after the job was vacated by Levi Mooney.

Henryetta Public Schools will have new head coaches in softball and boys basketball in 2018-19. Taking over the softball head coaching duties will be Ryan Swallow, who had guided the Beggs softball program for the past five years. Swallow takes over the head coaching reins from Rodrigo Barcenas, who guided the Lady Knights for the past three seasons.

The new boys basketball head coach at Henryetta in 2018-19 will be Bunyan Johnson, who had been the girls head basketball coach at Beggs since the 2013-14 season. Johnson was also the head boys basketball coach at Beggs from 2005-2007 and was an assistant coach on the 2009 state championship Preston boys basketball team. Johnson takes over the Golden Knight cage program for Tim Gillispie, who had guided the Knights the past three seasons.

With Swallow taking the head softball job at Henryetta, it means that there will be a new coach guiding the Lady Demon softball program in 2018-19. The head softball coaching vacancy at Beggs is being filled by Trent Patterson, who has been the head softball coach at Glenpool High School.

With Johnson leaving to coach the boys basketball team at Henryetta, there was a vacancy at Beggs for the girls basketball head coaching position.

Just like at Wilson and Okmulgee, applications are currently being taken for the girls basketball head coaching job at Beggs High School.

As soon as the remaining coaching vacancies across the county are filled, it will be announced in the Henryetta Free-Lance.

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Coaching Changes 2018-19

Okmulgee

Football: Bruce Munden

Girls Basketball: Currently Taking Applications

 

Beggs

Football: David Tenison

Girls Basketball: Currently Taking Applications

Softball: Trent Patterson

 

Morris

Football: Robert Daniels

Girls Basketball: Ty Allen

Boys Basketball: Jerry Peaker

Softball: Currently Taking Applications

 

Henryetta

Softball: Ryan Swallow

Boys Basketball: Bunyan Johnson

 

Wilson

Football: Currently Taking Applications

Girls Basketball: Currently Taking Applications

 

Dewar, Schulter, and Preston did not have any head coaching changes for 2018-19.

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