MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

May 18, 2013

MHS assistant, former Oktaha coach named to slowpitch Hall of Fame

When Darrell Wood retired as the fastpitch and slowpitch coach at Oktaha High School in 2009, he came to Muskogee High School as Keith Coleman’s assistant and just wanted to coach.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Slowpitch Coaches Association announced that Wood will be one of the new inductees into the association’s Hall of Fame.

“I made a statement to my wife ‘I really don’t think I’m worthy of this,’” Wood said upon hearing the news. “That was kind of my reaction. I not sure I am worthy of being in the Hall of Fame. That’s a pretty prestigious honor.”

While at Oktaha, Wood guided the Lady Tigers to the 2006 fastpitch title. Since leaving Oktaha, Wood has been with the Lady Roughers’ fastpitch program for the last three years and the slowpitch team the last two seasons.

When it comes to evaluating his success, Wood is quick to point out it boils down to one thing – the players.

“The girls are why any coach can win,” he said. “Coaches don’t do much. It’s what the girls can do and what they’re willing to do is what allows coaches to win ball games.”

Having someone at his side like Wood is not lost on Coleman.

“It means everything for our program and for me as a coach,” Coleman said. “He was my baseball coach when I was in high school and now I consider him my mentor. He is the best softball coach in Oklahoma and we are lucky to have him.”

As an assistant, Wood says he can focus on just coaching.

“I don’t have to worry about scheduling umpires and getting buses,” Wood said. “I don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. As far as the coaching goes, it’s still coaching.”

While the Hall of Fame was unexpected honor, Wood is not ready to end his career.

“I still feel good,” Wood said. “My health’s still good. I think I can be here another 5-10 years. I think I can do that...I want to. Right now, I still have the desire to coach.”

Even though the Lady Roughers fell in this year’s Class 6A state quarterfinals to eventual champion Tulsa Union, Wood still feels titles are an afterthought.

“I like to see the girls improve on the softball field,” he said. “I want to see them play well when it’s time to play well. At Muskogee, we’ve done that a lot of times, slowpitch and fastpitch.”

Wood will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on June 15 along with Waukomis’ Betsy Heasley in conjunction with the OSCA’s All-State games.

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