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All-State Games notebook: Harrah football coach using a legend's philosophies

Phil Webb said he hopes the ideals of Mike Little work in turning around the Panthers' program
by Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh Published: July 29, 2013

New Harrah football coach Phil Webb is looking to do a 180-degree turn after the Panthers finished last season 1-9.

And his coaching philosophy is a simple one developed from his time as a player for legendary coach Mike Little at Putnam City North, where he was a starting defensive back for the 1991 state championship team.

I'm basing my opportunity to be a coach on those things I learned under him,” Webb said Monday at the Oklahoma Coaches Association clinic. “Discipline, structure, organization, doing the intangibles, you know the little things that can't explain. Those are the things I'm hanging my hat on.”

Webb spent the past seven seasons as an assistant at Harrah, moving from secondary coach to defensive coordinator. This summer he replaced Greg Willis, who accepted the Purcell job in June. Webb also coached at Moore in the mid-90s.

But he has found a home in Harrah, where he hopes to rebuild a team that had enjoyed recent success.

“If this works, it's going to work under my tenure with me and that'll be it,” Webb said. “I think that inspires me and it makes me nervous to some extent because I know if I'm not successful there, then this will probably be it because I am rooted there and all I'm inspired to do is help the town.”


Since his first day on Norman's campus, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery preached the importance of building relationships with recruits.

On Monday at the Southern Hills Marriott in Tulsa, Montgomery talked again about Oklahoma's coaches understanding of the importance to build relationships but with high school coaches. The entire Oklahoma football coaching staff, from Bob Stoops to his coordinators and graduate assistants, were gathered to talk with high school coaches from across Oklahoma.

"It's all about building relationships with these coaches," Montgomery said.

Oklahoma State coaches will be in attendance Tuesday. Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is the guest speaker at the FCA breakfast, while assistants Jason Ray and Joe Bob Clements will make presentations at the coaching clinic later in the day.

OSU baseball coach Josh Holliday spoke on Monday, and Cowgirl softball coach Rick Wieligman will speak on Wednesday. OU women's basketball coach Sherri Coale is among the speakers scheduled for Tuesday morning.


Taylor Schwerdtfeger had lots of success as Kingfisher's offensive coordinator the past five seasons.

Now he's hoping to continue that as the head coach at El Reno this season. Schwerdtfeger has emphasized the weight room this offseason and said several players have added 20-25 pounds of muscle this summer.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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