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January 21, 2013

Ada coach finally answers call of Oklahoma's oil field

Ada —      The 12-1 Class 4A state semifinalist Cougars lost 22 highly skilled seniors after the season. Then they lost another shortly thereafter when at the end of the semester assistant coach Greg Mitchell finally answered a phone that had been ringing for several years.

     The lure of championship gold was finally outweighed by black gold. Friends and contacts in the oil patch had called on Mitchell through the years, and he finally answered the call.

     Crescent Services, among other services, searches out water rights in areas where SandRidge Energy and others will be drilling. That’s Mitchell’s job. He jokes that his office is in north Oklahoma City, but his real place of business is his vehicle.

     His road map is not unlike road trips on the charters and the Yellow Dawgs — Guthrie, Woodward and points north into Kansas.

     “I work with lots of different kinds of folk from the rigs to the board executives at SandRidge,” he said.

     “Do I miss it? Sure I do. And I know it will get worse as another season approaches. I coached for 15 years, and I felt like I was able to make a positive impact and I met a loyal of loyal friends,” Mitchell said.

     He will not, of course, miss the teacher/coach paycheck, saying it was the occupation switch was "just the right thing at this time, the right thing for my family.”

From GA at his alma mater, Velma—Alma,  to coaching there, then head coach at Kingston and the three seasons as assistant at Ada in two stints, the memories are engraved.

     “We went to the finals twice at Velma. I’d say those two years and last season at Ada were the most special,” he said.

     During games, Mitchell was one of the invisible coaches. While most of the staff stomped the sidelines, offensive coordinator Mitchell & Co. of three more coaches had a bird’s-eye view from the spacious confines of the press box at Norris Field. Or at away games, some with equal facilities, some rivaling shanties, or even outdoors, even when the weather was dear.

     The season can be wrapped up in one word — fun. Often the press box crew was more visible as the Cougars were kicking by halftime, and the foursome saw no need to return to the box after meeting with the sideline coaches at the half.

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