While serving on various football staffs, Denton Long pursued one other head coaching position besides the one he was hired for Monday at Porter High School.
That other opportunity was Porter, back in 2015. Zac Ross, presently at Checotah, got that job.
Now, after four years in administration at Ponca City, Long’s second run at a head coaching job turned out in his favor. He replaces Prentice Joseph, who replaced Ross in 2018 when Ross went to Wyandotte for a brief time. Joseph has joined Muskogee’s staff.
Money was a motivator for Long deciding to enter administration, specifically as a middle school principal, but he couldn’t shake the love of the game.
“I just think an administrator as you deal with so many situations, you learn to take everything in stride, moving toward your goals and staying calm and focused,” Long said. “That’s something I’ve learned the last four years — when things go wrong, we’ve still got stuff we have to get done.
“In the past I wasn’t sure I was ready at times for a head coaching job. But with the leadership stuff that comes from the administrative side I felt like I had the football knowledge and now I have the people knowledge.”
Porter athletic director Chris Sherwood said Long’s “blend of discipline and organization and structure” helped lead to his recommendation, which was approved Monday night.
“I think that administrative experience will help him in a leadership role as far as working with kids to get them where you want them to go,” Sherwood said.
Long’s previous coaching jobs have been four years as offensive coordinator and secondary coach at Verdigris, and prior to that he was co-defensive coordinator at Ashdown, Ark., for three seasons. The native of Heavener coached there for two seasons and also was on staff at Berryhill for two seasons prior to that.
At Ashdown his first season, their 4-3 defense was ranked atop the state statistically in all classes and didn’t allow a touchdown for five games. One of those players, defensive lineman Glenndon Bobo, established a state sack record in 2010 with 25.
Long prefers the run-pass option game. He met with his players for the first time Tuesday and said he will decide on schematics once the eye test of spring football rolls around.