“He's done a lot with what he's had to work with,” said Joe Vladovich, who has spent 16 seasons as Tuley's assistant coach in two separate stints. “He's just a great man and a great coach. I've learned an awful lot from him.”
With Tuley's career record of 530-220 and 10 state tournament appearances, Vladovich joked that the coach has been at Capitol Hill almost as long as the building has been standing.
And that's the fact that will be most odd next November, when someone else is coaching the Redskins.
“The conference is going to miss him and his leadership in the city area,” said Millwood coach Varryl Franklin, one of the few coaches in the state with a longer tenure at one school. “Not too many people have carried the mantle he's carried, as far as leadership in our conference.”
Added Southeast coach Walt Brewer: “He's like a pioneer of basketball in the state of Oklahoma. He's very intense, very competitive. He'll find any way to win. I'm gonna miss him being on the other end of the court coaching his players.”
But while it's a loss for high school basketball, and student-athletes at Capitol Hill, Tuley's move to Seminole State has a positive side as well. Clearly, Tuley has wanted to be a head coach at the next level, and now he'll get that opportunity.
“This is an outstanding situation for him, an opportunity to go on to the next level,” Vladovich said. “I wish it would have happened earlier, but sometimes it's not in the cards. But there's a reason he was put at Capitol Hill and that he stayed there so long.”