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Berry Tramel  


Bob Hoffman: Another in a long legacy of coaches from Putnam City Original

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm •  Published: March 24, 2014

Bob Hoffman coached Mercer to a big upset of Duke on Friday in the NCAA Tournament. I wrote about Hoffman for the Sunday Oklahoman. You can read that column here.

Hoffman is a graduate of Putnam City High School, where he played for the late Jim Koch. The 1970s were a glorious time for Putnam City. The Pirates were the premier school in the state. They won three state titles in football (1974, 1975, 1977) and in 1972 had perhaps the greatest high school basketball team in Oklahoma history, led by Alvan Adams.

But here’s part of the legacy of Koch and Putnam City. Four of his players from the ’70s went on to become major college head coaches.

* Hoffman, who coached Southern Nazarene’s women to the 1989 NAIA championship and Oklahoma Baptist’s men to two NAIA title games. Hoffman is in his sixth year at Mercer.

* Jim Wooldridge, who coached Southwest Texas State to the 1994 NCAA Tournament and has been head coach of Central Missouri State in Division II, Southwest Texas State of the Southland Conference, Louisiana Tech of the Sun Belt, Kansas State and Cal-Riverside of the Big West. Wooldridge also spent three seasons as an assistant coach for Tim Floyd with the Chicago Bulls. Wooldridge now is athletic director at Cal-Riverside.

* Darrell Johnson, who coached Oklahoma City University to back-to-back NAIA national titles and also coached Oklahoma Baptist and Baylor (1992-94). Johnson now is an NBA scout.

* Phil Johnson, Darrell’s younger brother, who was head coach at two Oklahoma junior colleges, Northern and Seminole, and eventually became head coach at San Jose State twice, 1998-99 and 2002-05. In between, Johnson also was on Floyd’s staff with the Bulls. Johnson now is on Floyd’s staff at Texas-El Paso.

Darrell Johnson and Wooldridge were teammates with Adams on that great 1972 Putnam City team. Phil Johnson and Hoffman came a few years after.

A remarkable run of coaching talent developed by Jim Koch.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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