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Clinton officially names Philip Koons new football coach

by Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh Modified: August 1, 2014 at 9:00 pm •  Published: August 1, 2014

Philip Koons said he was at the right place at the right time.

After ending a 21-year stint at Tuttle with his resignation in April, Koons was officially named head coach of another tradition-rich program Friday at Clinton.

“I left a heck of a program to go to an even better one,” he told The Oklahoman.

Koons, who was on the sidelines for the All-State game at Bixby High School Friday night, was originally going to be Clinton’s defensive coordinator. Now he replaces Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame member Mike Lee, who resigned Monday due to health issues.

Lee was in Bixby as well, watching his son, Grant, play in the All-State game. Lee guided the Red Tornadoes for 25 seasons. winning nine state championships. That’s a fact Koons is not overlooking.

“Big shoes to fill, but I was honored that he brought me on staff in the first place,” he said. “He had kind of talked about his health — in the future maybe getting out — but it surprised me that it happened so suddenly.”

Koons won 205 games and two state titles with Tuttle, using a similar style Lee used at Clinton.

But even Koons admits following Lee won’t be easy.

“I’m gonna do the best I can,” he said. “It’s intimidating to follow a legend like that, but somebody’s gotta do it. I’m ready.”

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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