Muskogee football

Muskogee head football coach Rafe Watkins, left in this 2015 photo, won't return for the 2021 season, it was announced Tuesday.

Muskogee Public Schools announced Tuesday that head football coach Rafe Watkins has "by mutual agreement" stepped down as the Roughers head coach after seven seasons.

Watkins, who came to Muskogee from a highly successful tenure at Guthrie with four state titles in Class 5A, reached the 6AII semifinals in 2016 and this year reached the playoffs for a fifth year.

It was an odd accomplishment made possible by the pandemic that had the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association open the playoffs to all teams based on the number of canceled games throughout the state. Muskogee had four games canceled due to COVID-19 and was 0-6 before losing 39-0 to Midwest City in the added round last week.

Watkins was 34-36 at MHS. He was the All-Phoenix Coach of the Year in 2016. Overall, Watkins has a win-loss record of 182-84. 

“Muskogee Public Schools is thankful to Rafe for his hard work and dedication to Rougher Football,” said MPS superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall in a statement released by MPS.

“After meeting following the conclusion of the season, we mutually agreed that a fresh start for our football program would be best. I wish Rafe the best of luck in the next season of life for him and his wife Karen. They are terrific people and I truly do appreciate the work that they have done in our community and our school system in the last seven years.”

Muskogee Public Schools will conduct an extensive search to find the program’s next head coach which will begin immediately. Associate head coach/Defensive Coordinator Travis Hill will serve as the interim head coach until a permanent replacement is named. 



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