MIDWEST CITY — Carl Albert coach Wayne Dozier quietly hopes nobody notices he’s at school until it’s time for the game to start.
It’s tough not to notice Dozier coaching.
The longtime Titans coach pushed all the right buttons and made the right moves this season, leading Carl Albert to an unprecedented third straight Class 5A championship and earning The Oklahoman All-State and Big All-City Coach of the Year honors.
“What I think about or what we talk about to the players as coaches is what our place in history can be as far as the school and the teams that we play year in and year out,” Dozier said. “We knew last year when we won back-to-back that no one had done that in our class, which was the second largest class, since El Reno did it in ’91 and ’92.
“We knew that basically we were chasing history and we could be the first to do something in the state of Oklahoma.”
The three straight titles are the first in the class, which is the second largest in the state.
It was that feat Dozier used as motivation for arguably the most talented team in the state.
“People need motivation, and as we talked about that with the players that was something they bought in to,” Dozier said. “They wanted to be the first, just like last year they wanted to be the first team in 20-something years to go back-to-back because it doesn’t happen very often in our class.”
Dozier also led Carl Albert to titles in 2007 and 2009. The Titans have been in eight championship games during his 16-year tenure as head coach.
This season was different because of the talent on the roster.
The Titans featured The Oklahoman’s Player of the Year Gavin LaValley, Oklahoma signee Cameron Warren and junior catcher Corey Zangari, who has verbally committed to Oklahoma State. They also had junior college players like Justin McGregor and Stevie Thompson.
It’s not always the most talented team that comes away with the title, but for Dozier he made sure his team responded to the expectations.
“He always made sure we did the right things all the time, but he also let us just be us,” LaValley said. “He knew our potential and what we had, and he would let us go out and play most days.
“He reminded us that we’ve got a target on our back, but he took it as a normal day. He told us to relax and go out and be Carl Albert, and that’s what we did.”
Dozier, as expected, is already looking to next season, though he and the Titans didn’t have time to really reflect on the season because of a compressed schedule to prepare for the summer.
But he knows one day they will.
“Someday we’ll be able to sit back and reflect and enjoy it probably when those guys are my age and I’m close to dead,” Dozier joked. “We’ll all get together and sit down and enjoy it.”