Stillwater News Press

June 10, 2013

Cushing scrambling to fill void left by departing coaches

By Andrew Glover

CUSHING, Okla. — The Cushing Lady Tigers had one of the best seasons in school history last year, finishing 25-2 and qualifying for the Class 4A state basketball semifinals. This year, the Lady Tigers are looking for someone to lead them back as their girls basketball coach position remains open.

“There’s several things we are looking at,” Cushing athletic director Barry Patterson said. “We want to put the future of the girls basketball program in the best situation. We aren’t going to settle for an average coach. We may hold off a little bit and make due and look next year.”

The Lady Tigers’ position became open intially when coach Brad Crace resigned and took a job in Elgin. Cushing temporarily filled the position on May 8 when it hired Anadarko’s Jeff Zinn, who led the Lady Warriors to the Class 4A semifinals last season. Recently, all that changed.

“(Zinn) called and basically said he made a mistake and regrets making the decision,” Patterson said. “Our heads are still spinning. We are scrambling because it’s late in the game.”

Whoever takes over the program, will have a young team as the Lady Tigers graduated seven from last season’s state semifinalist — including star post player Che’Ron Lewis, who averaged 17.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.

Cushing is also looking for a new baseball coach following the departure of Charles Copeland, who took a job in Harrah. Patterson said he is understanding of Crace and Copeland taking other jobs adding he supports them.

“I’ve told our coaches that if they can improve their situation, we will support you,” Patterson said. “We have great staff at Cushing and will get quality people to fill those positions.”

Also looking for a new coach is Morrison after girls basketball coach Luke Kruse resigned to be with his family.

“We reposted the position on Wednesday,” coach Cory Bales said. “We are going to keep looking and hopefully we can get some stability in that position.”

Morrison’s next girls basketball coach will be the third in the last three seasons. The Lady Wildcats will also have a new fast-pitch softball coach next season as baseball coach Tim Hatter takes over for Josh Hawkins. Bales said Hatter will continue coaching baseball.

Perry is looking for a new football coach after Craig Hixon resigned to take the same position at Woodward. The Maroons went 6-5 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.