Tucker Barnard felt a heavy weight lifted off his shoulders Tuesday night.
The Stillwater High athletic director was relieved when his two biggest coaching hires were approved by the Stillwater Public Schools Board of Education.
A pair of longtime SHS coaches, who each led their respective programs for more than 20 years, retired from coaching after the winter sports season. That left two big holes to be filled within the SHS athletic program.
Scott Morris was hired as the SHS boys’ basketball coach. Ethan Kyle is the new SHS wrestling coach. Both coaches will be teaching physical education.
“It’s a weight off of our shoulders,” Barnard said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “We’re really excited. We feel like we had a really strong candidate pool. … We were really impressed with the candidates we had, and it wasn’t an easy decision, because of the experience and level of success a lot of our candidates had. I think these guys were great fits.”
Both spots were officially filled Tuesday night by coaches who stepped away from the collegiate level to come to SHS.
“I think that speaks to the type of jobs we had available,” Barnard said in a phone interview. “These guys were excited about the opportunity to be at Stillwater High School. We’ve got a lot going for us here. These guys are going to do their best to maximize that.”
Filling the boys’ basketball void left by Michael Davis is Scott Morris, who left his job as the Northern Oklahoma College Enid women’s basketball coach after 19 years. Morris is a graduate of Tonkawa High and he earned 456 wins coaching the Lady Jets.
“Coach Morris is a highly respected and accomplished coach,” Barnard said in the SPS release. “He started the program at NOC-Enid and has had great success there. His leadership experience will be a great asset to us.”
Former Oklahoma State wrestler Ethan Kyle was hired to replace Doug Chesbro as the Pioneers’ wrestling coach. Kyle just completed his 11th year as an assistant wrestling coach at the University of Wyoming.
“Coach Kyle's time at Oklahoma State and as an assistant coach at the Division 1 level is a unique level of experience that he will bring to our athletes,” Barnard said in the release. “We are excited about his passion to build upon the previous success of Stillwater wrestling.”
Full stories on each coach will be published in the coming days.