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.”