Well, I’m glad that’s over.
Last week Larry McBroom announced he was resigning as the head coach at Ardmore High School.
I vividly remember three years ago when I first heard the Ardmore Board of Education was prepared to name Coach Larry their new football coach. Like many Ada football supporters — both new and old — I was flabbergasted at the thought.
Larry McBroom coaching the rival Ardmore Tigers? Really?
Of course, I had to see it with my own eyes, so I made the trip down to the Ardmore board meeting where his hiring was announced. Sure enough, later that fall, I would be witnessing Larry McBroom on the sidelines again at Norris Field. But it would be on the wrong sideline. The visitors sideline.
Talk about weird.
It sure made it harder to cheer against the Tigers. I mean, how could any true Ada High football fan wish Larry McBroom any bad luck? The dude won seven state championship after all.
I have to admit though, once I got past the strangeness of it all, it made covering the first game of every football season over the past three years very entertaining. And dad gum it if McBroom didn’t win his mini series with Ada this past year when the Tigers defeated the Cougars 28-7 to break a 1-1 tie.
If the planets had aligned themselves just right, we would have been able to see an Ada-Ardmore playoff matchup last fall. But that didn’t work out.
McBroom, 58 years young, cited health issues when announcing he’s leaving Oklahoma one more time. He’s headed to South Grand Prairie Texas (a Dallas suburb) to become an assistant coach. After three years of nearly 70-hour work weeks as Ardmore’s head coach and Athletic Director, he’s ready to lighten his load.
“This is something I didn’t anticipate, but something came up and I needed to do it for health and family reasons,” McBroom told the Daily Oklahoman. “It’s ironic how it all fell in place last week. It’s amazing how God takes care of us old folks. I had some medical tests done a couple weeks ago and after I found out what I needed to do, I wrestled with it for five or six days. ”
There will be a happy reunion in Grand Prairie. Larry’s brother Gary McBroom, who also left his mark on the Ada High football program, will also be an assistant at the Texas school. And the two McBrooms will be working under head coach Brent Whitson, whom Coach Larry coached at Ada and hired in 1996 as an assistant at Weatherford (Texas). Whitson also had a successful run at Shawnee High School. Not a bad coaching trifecta for the Gophers football squad.
In three seasons with the Tigers, McBroom compiled a 16-16 record, with back-to-back playoff appearances in 2009 and 2010.
Make no mistake about it. McBroom loves Oklahoma football, despite his past ventures to Texas (Weatherford, Mount Pleasant and Carrollton). And yes, he like his time in Ardmore, just 60 miles away from his true home.
“They say ‘once and Okie, always an Okie,’ so I’m still an Okie. I’m just transplanted,” he said.
While it’s bittersweet to see him headed back to Texas, at least we Adans finally get to leave the Twilight Zone. Ardmore can go back to being, well, Ardmore.
Good luck Coach Larry. Take care of yourself.
The 2011 Ada Evening News All-Area basketball teams were scheduled to run today, but due to many circumstances out of our control, we’re going to postpone it until next Sunday (May 1).