Share “The breakdown”

by Jenni Carlson Modified: April 19, 2008 at 1:03 am •  Published: April 19, 2008
Any time a school trots out a new head coach, it's part church social, part circus. In other words, grand fun. So it was at Oklahoma State this week when it introduced Travis Ford as its new men's basketball coach.

Here are the favorite sights and sounds from Thursday in Stillwater:

5. Shane Ford's cowboy boots: The coach's youngest son wore a pair of steel-toed brown cowboy boots. Apparently, it was either that or a head-to-toe basketball jersey.

4. Mike Holder's press conference posture: The Oklahoma State athletic director sat leaned forward with his elbows on his knees the entire time Ford talked. Call it an ‘I-did-good' look.

3. John Smith: The Cowboy wrestling coach was one of only two head coaches spotted at the presser — women's basketball coach Kurt Budke was the other — but the best thing about Smith was his attire. Sweats and wrestling shoes. The guy can still beat just about any wrestler in his room, can't he?

2. Kyleigh Ford: Ford's daughter came dressed in an OSU cheerleading uniform, and when she appeared in the door of the press conference, she struck a pose, arms raised in a V, fists balled. She thought the cameras were for her.

1. Ford shying away from nothing: Sure, days like that are made for hyperbole. You want to energize the fans. You want to win the players. But the Cowboys' new coach talked about the Sutton family, which has been a sore subject for many in Stillwater, and he even made a joke about Bill Self. Every new coach says he expects to win a national title, but Ford showed a great level of maturity and understanding in trying to bridge some divides.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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Travis Ford


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