, Muskogee, OK


April 21, 2014

Tahlequah boys hoops coach relieved of duties

TAHLEQUAH – Tahlequah is in the market for another boys basketball coach – yet again.

Pat Dotson was relieved of his coaching duties on Thursday, the Tahlequah Daily Press learned from multiple sources on Friday. Dotson later confirmed the report.

“Yep, I met with the guys (on Thursday),” Dotson told the Tahlequah Daily Press on Friday. When asked what was said during the meeting, Dotson responded: “I won’t disclose that.”

Dotson’s termination as Tahlequah’s boys basketball coach is the second in as many years. Mike Leafgreen was dismissed as the Tigers’ coach in the spring of 2013.

Under Dotson’s tutelage during the 2013-2014 season, Tahlequah went 6-17 and was ousted from the playoffs in the first round of the Class 5A regional tournament. The 71-45 loss to Deer Creek marked the fifth straight season that Tahlequah failed to win in the regional tournament and advance to the area tournament.

Tahlequah’s last playoff victory dates back to 2009, when the Tigers beat El Reno in the Class 5A state quarterfinals. The Tigers went on to lose to Guthrie in the semifinals and haven’t won a postseason game since.

That task will be up to the next head coach, which Tahlequah will be begin searching for “as soon as possible,” said Lisa Presley, superintendent of Tahlequah Public Schools.

“We will go through our hiring process, and we’ll post the job as soon as we can,” Presley said.

When Tahlequah decides on its new coach, it’ll be the district’s fourth boys basketball hire since 2009 – and the third in four years.

Phone calls to Tahlequah athletic director Brad Gilbert were not immediately returned. Instead, a text message from Gilbert to the Tahlequah Daily Press said, “Get in touch with Lisa Presley. Thanks.”

Presley confirmed the dismissal, describing the situation as “not a good fit” with Dotson.

“Mr. Dotson is a stand-up guy. He essentially did what we asked him to do,” Presley said. “He’s a good teacher. In the end, it wasn’t a complete fit, and that’s why we made the move.”

Dotson and Johnny Dyson were introduced as Tahlequah’s boys and girls basketball coaches, respectively, in May of 2013. At the time, Presley declared that “we want to build some longevity” with the basketball coaches.

While Dyson is still the girls basketball coach, Dotson is on his way out.

So what happened to longevity?

“Obviously, we still want that,” Presley said on Friday. “We haven’t had any longevity with the boys basketball program. We’ll still be searching for it. It’s still a goal.”

Dotson said he intends to keep coaching tennis for Tahlequah. He also said he’ll assist within the football program.

“That’s what I’m going to do,” he said. “But I’m very disappointed.”

– Ben Johnson is the sports editor for the Tahlequah Daily Press.

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