The Ada Board of Education hired former assistant Chris Berus as its new head football coach at a special meeting Thursday afternoon.

Berus returns to Ada after spending the past two seasons as the assistant head coach at Shiloh Christian High School in Springdale, Arkansas.

Berus was an assistant coach at Ada High from 1996 to 2005.

“I’m excited. Chris is the perfect fit for what we need for the Ada Cougars,” said Ada athletic director Bryan Harwell. “He’s a former Cougar. He’s excited about being here. He wants to be in Ada and he’s coming here to stay. I think he’ll continue to build on Ada Cougar tradition.”

Berus becomes the 18th different head coach of the Ada football team, which has won 19 state championships.

Before heading to Arkansas, Berus spent six seasons at Plainview. In 2013, he guided the Indians to a 13-1 mark and a state semifinal berth. The Cougars scrimmaged Plainview several times while Berus was there.

Berus replaces Wade Standley, who accepted a job at Class 6A Deer Creek earlier this month. Standley guided the Cougar football team to an 11-10 overall record (and 9-4 in district play) in his two seasons at the helm.

Harwell immediately began searching for a new football coach when he learned of Standley’s pending resignation. It didn’t take long for Harwell to recommend Berus to the school board to fill the vacancy.

“I started building a profile of a coach that I thought we needed and Chris fit every part of that profile,” Harwell said. “I wanted to move as quickly as possible. He’ll bring excitement and enthusiasm to the program.”

For more on the Berus hiring, see today’s sports pages.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.