MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

June 19, 2014

Former MHS asst. named Hulbert coach

Coaching and administration, two paths that split for Rusty Harris four years ago, have converged  at Hulbert.

Harris, who in May was hired for the high school principal’s job, takes over as the head football coach of the Riders, pending board approval.

The recommendation comes after some discussion involving superintendent Marilyn Dewoody, Harris and athletic director Rick Ott about coaching shortages relative to teaching openings..

“With budget cuts at the state level, everyone is trying to figure out how to absorb them and it has created some hardship, especially where every district has to look at what you’re able to hire financially from a teaching standpoint,” Harris said. “Whether people understand this or not, superintendents in our state are very creative in trying to stretch a dollar and still get the best scenario for the kids in that district.”

Hence, Harris, who was a principal at Alice Robertson following two seasons at Muskogee as an offensive coordinator under Matt Hennesy, will pull double-duty.

“It will be a handful,” Harris said. “But I’ll be more than happy to do this for a period of time until we can get some right folks in the right place sometime in the future.”

Harris replaces Gary Riley, who will take on fastpitch softball in the fall and remain as the school’s baseball coach.

“I have a daughter playing softball and with the scenarios we were looking at it just felt like the right move,” Riley said.

 Part of the structuring will also mean that Ott will continue to double as boys and girls basketball coach. Slowpitch softball will be dropped.

Harris acknowledged that the authority inherent in being the chief disciplinarian which the job of principal carries has a fit in the double duty on the field.

“We have 40 kids playing football and 203 kids in high school,” Harris said. “The reality of that is we have 30 percent roughly who we’re dealing with during the summer so the rules are established well before the first day of school.

“But these are good kids who want to do right. Most kids do. But yeah, there’s some advantage of having both roles and we’ll try to play on that.”

It’s been tough times at Hulbert. The Riders were 1-9 in District 2A-8 last year and haven’t had a winning season since the 1999 team went 7-3. The 2011 team made the postseason as a fourth-place team going 4-6. Outside of that, the most wins in any season since 1999 was three.

“I know they’ve had six coaches in eight years and that tells you a lot,” Harris said. “There’s no consistency in offense or defense, no consistency really in anything. I think we’ve had a pretty good product we’ll bring here and I think we’ll develop some of that success.”

That product includes a basic one-back, four wide-out gun with a mix of veer and Wildcat under a no-huddle scheme he ran at Muskogee, and a 3-4 defense.

Along with Mickey McGowan, a longtime coach at Hulbert, Harris is bringing in Curtis Waltman, who has coached in Muskogee and Aaron Fowler, a former Rougher while Harris was coaching at MHS, who will help out.

Harris’ son, Kyler, is a starter in the secondary at Northeastern State.

The Riders will compete in 2A-7 this fall with Adair, Colcord, Chouteau, Haskell, Kansas and Salina.

1
Text Only
Prep Sports
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks