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High school football: Transition to new head coach has been easy for Putnam City North

Last week, for the first time in 23 years, football practice opened at Putnam City North without Bob Wilson in charge, following the longtime coach’s retirement in April. But the appointment of Rod Richardson to fill his former boss’ shoes has made for an incredibly smooth transition.
by Scott Wright Published: August 18, 2014

To Chase Sparks, it seems like hardly anything has changed.

Last week, for the first time in 23 years, football practice opened at Putnam City North without Bob Wilson in charge, following the longtime coach’s retirement in April.

But the appointment of Rod Richardson to fill his former boss’ shoes has made for an incredibly smooth transition.

Richardson was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season, working closely with Sparks in his first season as the starting QB.

Last spring, many Panther football players were playing baseball under Richardson — the PC North baseball coach for the last decade — when the team made an unexpected run to the state tournament.

“We worked a lot together last year, and it just transitioned right into my senior year,” Sparks said. “It’s gonna be no problem. We’ll just keep working the same offense we ran last year and keep moving forward.

“It’s always tough to lose a coach with as much experience as Coach Wilson, but change never hurts anybody. It takes a little bit to get used to, but I think we’re going to come through it and be better.”

Richardson, who played for the Midwest City Bombers during the mid-1990s, had brought in an intriguing new assistant coach last week, but lost him on Sunday. Former Panther running back Deji Karim had been helping out, but was signed by the Indianapolis Colts, where he has a chance to make team as a backup running back and kick returner.

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
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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