MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

June 11, 2014

Muskogee board approves Delk as wrestling coach

When Muskogee High School athletic director Garrett Davis went searching for a wrestling coach to replace John Petty who resigned after one season, he saw one name that kept cropping up as highly recommended.

On Tuesday, the Muskogee School board approved the hiring of Mikel Delk Jr. to fill the vacancy.

“I wanted to find a guy that other wrestling coaches in the state felt like would be a good fit for the Muskogee program,” Davis said. “Once I made some phone calls with other coaches, Mikel’s name always came up.”

Delk comes to Muskogee from Sallisaw Hugh School after one year as head coach. Prior to that, he was head coach at Catoosa for two years, at Sallisaw for the first time for one season as an assistant, and an assistant at Oklahoma City University after interning at Catoosa in 2009.

“Early on it was easy for me as an assistant,” Delk said. “Not having kids, I was able to travel so I took an assistant job at Sallisaw with the intention of becoming the head coach. When the head coach didn’t step down, I went to Catoosa then back to Sallisaw.”

Davis made the selection of Delk from a pool of 12 applicants with five being called in for interviews. The constant changing of positions could have thrown up a red flag, but not according to Davis.

“I felt like he wanted to be here at Muskogee, a bigger school with a lot of tradition in teh wrestling program” Davis said. “The moving around? That wasn’t a concern for me, as long as someone is always bettering their self at a position.”

Delk considers himself a tough-minded wrestler, and that’s the philosophy that he plans on instilling on his wrestlers. He also wanted to be associated with a big-school program.

“It’s always had great tradition and tough, hard-nosed kids,” Delk said. “It’s a big-power Class 6A program. I’ve always wanted to coach 6A. My first couple of years I’ve been at 4A just getting my feet wet and I’ve always wanted to get back to big-scale wrestling and compete against Broken Arrow, Union, Edmond North and those guys.”

Delk wrestled in high school at Skiatook under legendary coach Rick Reeves were he was a two-time state champion. After Skiatook, Delk wrestled for Lavette (Kan.) Community College, where he was a junior college All-American, and Fort Hays State University. While at FHSU, he was a two-time Division II All-American and wrestled on the All-Star dual team, and began his coaching career as a graduation assistant for the Tigers.

“I was wrestling as long as I can remember, since I was four or five years old,” Delk said.

Delk holds a two bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State, one in physical education and the other in health promotion and wellness and recreation management. He’s married to the former Kaleena Grimmett and they have a one-year old son Joey,

Delk will assume his duties as soon as possible, beginning with Summer Pride.

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