Not long ago, one of Gary Rose's assistant coaches at Carl Albert got up on a Sunday morning to head to the office to continue preparations for the Titans' next game.
“I'm going to work,” the coach told his wife.
“You're not either, you're heading up to that frat house,” his wife said.
Rose recounted the story Saturday as he and his staff reviewed Friday night's loss to Southmoore and started preparations for their next game against Coweta.
“There's no drinking, no cussing and no bad stuff,” Rose said. “But other than that, that's exactly what it is. We have a great time together.”
Rose is now in his 18th season as Carl Albert's coach, winning eight titles during that stretch.
Only Jenks coach Allan Trimble (9) has more titles since what is now the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association began awarding football championships in 1944. Clinton coach Mike Lee is the only other coach to win as many.
During the 2010 season, Rose wasn't sure how long he'd be able to keep coaching football.
He was in the hospital for more than a week with colitis.
“You lay in a hospital bed for nine days, you start thinking you'd like to get back out and coach, to golf, fish, travel with my wife, spend time with my kids and grandkids,” Rose said. “The significance of those things is really magnified when you think you might lose them.
“When you get into a mess, health-wise or in another way, you either run from God or run to him and I've always been taught to run to him. I was tremendously amazed by the number of people that loved, cared for and supported me then.”
A big part of that support comes from his assistant coaches.
Mike Goff has been with Rose for nearly 30 years, the first decade at Del City and for the last 18 at Carl Albert. Tex Rollins was at Carl Albert when Rose took over the Titans. Several other members of the staff have been on board for most of the last decade.
One of the reasons coaches have stuck around — the ones who haven't left for head coaching opportunities at least — is the way they're treated on the staff.
“Gary is one of those guys that has allowed me to grow,” Goff said. “I was a defensive coordinator for about 12 years and he doesn't try to micromanage. He turns things over to people. It takes a special person to be able to do that.