Edison hires new football coach
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
1/09/13 at 5:16 AM
Out of coaching for a year, D.J. Howell made a discovery last season while working with Broken Arrow's inside linebackers as a volunteer assistant.
"I sat down with my wife (Allison), and we decided I needed to get back into coaching full time. She said I was born to be a football coach," the former Fort Gibson head coach said.
Howell received a new assignment Tuesday when Edison Preparatory School tabbed him as its newest head coach.
He replaces Chris Hall, who stepped down after guiding the Eagles to a 1-9 mark in 2012, their first season in Class 6A football. Hall also was interim head coach for the final seven games of 2011.
Howell has a tough job ahead. The Eagles are just 8-62 since making consecutive playoff appearances in 2004 and '05. Edison and Booker T. Washington are the only Tulsa Public Schools members competing at the 6A level.
"It's going to be a challenge," Howell said. "We have a lot of work to do, but we have great kids and a great administration. They are doing everything they can to help us be successful. We just need to roll up our sleeves and get to work."
An Odessa, Texas, native, Howell thanked everyone for the opportunity, from TPS superintendent Keith Ballard to Edison principal Derrick Schmidt, site athletic director Raymond Shipps and TPS director of athletics Gil Cloud.
"The Edison administrative team did a good job in the screening process," Cloud said. "They have selected a coach who should fit the school's environment and culture very quickly."
Howell, 38, was head coach at Fort Gibson in 2009-10 and also has experience as an assistant at Bixby, Bishop Kelley and Lamesa, Texas.
He coached a total of six years at Bixby, including a stint from 2004-08 when he served first as a receivers/defensive backs coach and then as defensive coordinator, part of teams that finished runner-up for the Class 5A state title in 2005 and '07.
At Fort Gibson, Howell took over a program that had won only two games over the previous two seasons and guided the Tigers to a two-year mark of 7-14. Fort Gibson's 2010 playoff appearance was its first in five years.
Howell and his wife have five daughters and one son, ranging in ages from 13 to 2.
Mike Brown 918-581-8390