It was only fitting that two East Central University alums, state high school championship coaches and longtime friends were recently inducted at the same time into the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Darlean Calip and Annette Kennedy, who both played for ECU in the 1980s, were two of five new members added to the OGBCA Hall of Fame in late May.
Calip, who played at ECU and served as a graduate assistant while Kennedy was playing for the Tigers, coached Sapulpa High School to a Class 6A state championship in 2007 while also guiding Jenks High School to state crowns in 2001 and 2003, along with a state runner-up finish in 2002. She also led Moore High School to a state runner-up effort in 1998.
Kennedy coached Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa for 19 seasons, leading the Hornets to three state titles and 12 state tournament appearances before stepping down from that post at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
In all, Calip has collected nearly 400 victories in 22 seasons, and Kennedy had racked up nearly 400 while coaching for 19 years.
“It really made me happy that they got in,” said former ECU women’s head basketball coach Eldon Flinn. “I recruited them. They both were really nice kids, and I was happy to see them both have successful coaching careers.”
Calip, known as Darlean Osborne before marrying College Football Hall of Famer and ECU alum Brad Calip, was recruited out of Okemah High School, and Kennedy was recruited from and transferred in from Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa.
“Both were good students of the game. They listened and picked things up,” Flinn said. “They were really sharp. What I liked about them is they both always remembered what you told them.”
As a player at ECU, Darlean (Osborne) Calip went on to capture an All-Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference Award her senior year.
“She was one of the most non-talkative kids I ever had, but that changed. During her time as an assistant she took a hold of things. I thought she had some coaching qualities and stepped in and did a good job,” said Flinn. “Annette was a really great team person. She really applied herself and always had a great smile. Both are very deserving of these awards.”