The Cudjoe family has a strong tradition at Douglass High School, and now Kendal Cudjoe has the opportunity to build on it.
On Thursday, he was named the new boys basketball coach for the Trojans, winners of the last four Class 4A state championships.
Kendal's father, Lawrence Cudjoe, built the basketball program into a state power during his 18-year tenure that ended in 1974. He died in 1994, and the court at Douglass now bears his name.
Kendal Cudjoe was a standout on the basketball court in the mid-1970s and quarterbacked the Trojans to the 1976 state football title. He graduated in 1978.
“When you get a chance to go back and coach where you played, I think that's every coach's dream to at least get to do it one time,” Kendal Cudjoe said. “I'm really excited to have the opportunity to do that. For the court to be named after my father, and the rich tradition of the school, this means a whole lot to me.”
Cudjoe replaces Anthony Andrews, who was not retained after one season at Douglass.
Cudjoe spent the last four seasons as a head coach at Northwest Classen, two years with the girls team and two with the boys team.
In addition, Douglass also hired Anthony Gardner, a longtime Star Spencer boys assistant, as its new girls basketball coach.
BETHEL HIRES MIDWEST CITY'S MADONNA
A year ago, Bethel looked toward Midwest City to fill its football coaching job.
The Wildcats went back to that well this year, as Bombers assistant Jason Madonna was hired to take over the program.
Madonna replaces Mark Morgan, another former Midwest City assistant who left after the season when his wife took a job in North Carolina.
“I talked to Mark about it, and it was close enough to home that I wouldn't have to move,” Madonna said. “It means a lot to get this opportunity. I really appreciate that they showed the kind of confidence in me to let me come in and take over their program. I'm excited about it.”
Bethel went 3-7 last season, with all three wins coming in district play.
Madonna coached for five seasons at Midwest City under Steve Huff and Darrell Hall. He also played at Carl Albert under Gary Rose.
“Playing for and learning under those three, that high caliber of coaches has really helped me develop my philosophy and figure out what kind of head coach I'm going to become,” Madonna said.
SOUTHEAST HIRES VANDERSYPEN AS FOOTBALL COACH
It had been more than a decade since Oklahoma City Public Schools had needed to hire a new football coach at Southeast High School.
Michael Branch, the school district's longest tenured football coach, stepped away from coaching last winter, and OKCPS was able to fill the void with a veteran defensive coach.
Chris Vandersypen, who spent one year as the head coach at Rush Springs and 12 seasons as a defensive coordinator at multiple Class 5A and 6A programs, was recently named the school's new football coach.
A 17-year coaching veteran, Vandersypen comes to Southeast after spending the last four years as Choctaw's defensive coordinator. He also worked as an assistant Western Heights, Moore, Edmond North and Yukon.
SANTA FE'S FARISS WINS WITH 67
Only a sophomore, Edmond Santa Fe's Brinn Fariss made an impressive statement heading into next week's Class 6A girls state golf tournament.
Fariss shot a 67 Wednesday to win the west regional at Westwood Golf Club in Norman. Choctaw's Kina Boone came in second at 69.
Edmond North, led by defending 6A individual champion Allison Sell, shot a team total of 320 to edge Choctaw by two strokes for the regional title.
The 36-hole Class 6A state tournament will be held Wednesday and Thursday at River Oaks Golf Club in Edmond.