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Coaches at Oklahoma City Public Schools face big hurdles

RYAN ABER Modified: August 21, 2009 at 11:50 pm •  Published: August 22, 2009
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"Yo
u’ll have some assistant coaches that come and go because you have some that want to be head coaches,” Alexander said. "Staff continuity and camaraderie is very important to the success of the program.”It’s certainly paid off at Douglass, where the Trojans were 9-3 last year. This year, both Douglass and Star Spencer — coached by Darrell Hall since 2003 — are expected to be challengers for the Class 4A title.And while Love isn’t about to say that the Generals will compete near the top of their class any time soon — especially while they’re in 6A — he does say Grant can make significant strides to be competitive."We’re doing a lot of good things in this district,” Love said. "The facilities are getting better. We’re reaching out to the community, and they’ve been very supportive.”Love also said that the success of the schools’ football teams — or those of any district — can’t be measured solely in wins and losses."I want to win,” Love said. "But there’s more than that. We want to teach our kids to be good men first, then be good students and then be good athletes and in that order.”The coaches rave about the job Phil Ingersoll, a former OKCPS basketball coach, has done since he took over as the district’s athletic director in 2007."What helps us is he was a coach in the district for a long time,” Branch said. "He understands the operations of the district enough to be able to get things done."The only drawback would be the fact that we don’t have in-school athletics. I make it a point to ask guys that we’re competing against if they have it and so far I haven’t had anybody say no. Everybody’s got an athletic period. But that’s something that’s not under our athletic director’s control. And being on the at-risk lists, I don’t think athletics are a priority. District leaders are more concerned with getting our academics better, which they should be.”

A three-part series on football at Oklahoma City’s public schools
→Today: U.S. Grant coach Terrell Love has a big task in front of him — trying to turn around the Generals’ football team. He’s up for the challenge, though.

→Sunday: John Marshall’s Ken Berry is trying to follow in the footsteps of George West and Gerald McCoy — players who stayed at OKCPS schools and went on to play big-time college football.

→Monday: A look at what is being done to improve the football programs across OKCPS, and several people offer up their ideas for how football can be revived in the district.

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