After seven seasons, Todd Dilbeck is returning to Oklahoma, where he is expected to be named the football coach and athletic director at Choctaw, pending school board approval.
Dilbeck has coached at multiple programs in the state, including Tahlequah and Mustang. He was one of the first high school coaches in the state to implement and succeed with a multiple-receiver, spread offense that gained popularity in the mid-2000s.
He coached Mustang to the Class 6A state championship game in 2005, losing 33-7 to Tulsa Union. He left after that season to join Todd Graham's coaching staff at Rice University for one year, then went to Alma (Ark.) High School for six years.
With funding from a bond issue a few years ago, and the pending split of Class 6A football teams, it seems like an ideal time to take over a program like Choctaw, which will be in Division II of the new 6A starting in 2014.
“They've redone some schools and facilities at Choctaw, and you can tell it's a community that's excited about what's going on,” Dilbeck said. “Timing can be great sometimes, and I just think this is an awesome opportunity.”
After the death of his father last November, Dilbeck decided he wanted to return to Oklahoma to be closer to family.
“All of our children are back in Oklahoma, and after the playoffs ended here, I decided it was time to look at getting back to Oklahoma, so that's what I pursued,” he said. “I think this is a great opportunity at a school with administrators, faculty and a community that's really supportive.”
WRIGHT, ANDERSON HEAD TALENTED UCO BASKETBALL CLASS
Central Oklahoma men's basketball coach Terry Evans mined the local ranks for a strong 2013 signing class that includes a couple of players making their return to Oklahoma after some time away.
One of those is former Putnam City standout Garen Wright, who hasn't played basketball since graduating from high school in 2009. The 6-foot-4 athlete was drafted by the Houston Astros and played professional baseball for three seasons.
Former Edmond Santa Fe star Aaron Anderson is coming home after playing his freshman season at Fresno State. He averaged 15 minutes per game and got 12 starts for the Bulldogs as a true freshman.
The Bronchos signed one of the state's top scorers, Jacob Richardson of Porter, who averaged 32.2 points as a senior.
Midwest City product Jarrod McDaniel is returning to the team at UCO, and the team signed three junior-college prospects.
In addition to Texas native Phillip Brown of Northern-Enid, Evans signed a pair of local products in Southeast's Trai Jordan, out of Murray State, and El Reno's Devante Moore from Connors State.
BETHANY SEEKING GIRLS BASKETBALL COACH
Bethany girls basketball coach Jared Black is moving to the next level, taking an assistant's position with the women's program at Southern Nazarene, giving Bethany another basketball coaching position to fill.
Black has been at Bethany for five seasons, and the school will begin searching for his replacement immediately.
Boys coach Phil Brown stepped away from coaching earlier this month to focus on his duties as athletic director and teacher, and the school hopes to be able to name his replacement soon.
TWO GENERALS HEADED FOR SNU
U.S. Grant missed making the soccer playoffs this year but two of the Generals will continue their career at Southern Nazarene University.
Javier Hernandez and Edgardo Luevano have both received scholarships from SNU to play soccer.
Hernandez was a three-year starter at U.S. Grant and the only returning starter from the Generals' 2012 playoff team.
The senior captain of the team, Hernandez played every minute of every game this season.
“Two traits that make him so dangerous are his great speed and his very accurate touch,” U.S. Grant coach Stephen Cookson said. “Luevano is an aggressive defender.”