STILLWATER, Okla. —
After a year stalking practice simply as head coach, Stillwater High football coach Tucker Barnard is much more happy this spring working within just one position — instead of roaming between everybody during individual position drills.
“I’m having a lot of fun — I don’t know if my (defensive backs) are, but I am and I hope it rubs off,” Barnard said following Tuesday’s spring practice. “It just feels more natural, honestly.
“Kind of floating around last year and going from one position group to the next and just clap them up a little bit or give a few pointers here and there, about half the time I just felt like I didn’t have anything to do. And that really wasn’t the case, but just not being able to focus in on something and not having that task there ... I’m just having a lot more fun now.”
With the uncertainty of whether or not defensive backs coach Evan Woodson would be able to return this season, Barnard went ahead and made the decision to take the role. Barnard said Woodson will be returning and they will tag-team the defensive backs.
“There was a time I wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to come back or not, so I kind of made the decision then,” Barnard said. “Then it turned into where he is able to come back and I think that it’s an important enough position that for the three of us (including safeties coach Paul Grant) to be there is a good thing.”
Barnard is a defensive minded by nature, having worked with the linebackers his first year at Stillwater High before Trent Worley become the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. So being able to get back to work with defensive players — especially the important position of defensive backs, as the team’s last line of defense — was an easy decision for the third-year head coach.