Sequoyah hires head football coach
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Friday, February 08, 2013
2/08/13 at 5:50 AM
Tahlequah Sequoyah has elevated defensive coordinator Shane Richardson as the school's new head football coach, athletic director Marcus Crittenden said.
Richardson, who has been on staff for eight seasons, served as interim head coach for the final two games of 2012.
He replaces Brent Scott, who was put on administrative leave on Oct. 23 - one day after the school acknowledged that eight football players had been suspended for violating Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association rules.
Scott, head coach for nine seasons, was later terminated and is suing for his old job in Cherokee Nation court. He has a hearing set for Feb. 15, according to his attorney, Chad Smith.
Crittenden also announced that current girls basketball coach Larry Shade will take over as slowpitch softball coach. Shade replaces former athletic director Larry Grigg in that capacity. Grigg was also terminated after 15 years as a Sequoyah coach and administrator.
Richardson, 33, is a 1998 graduate of Sallisaw High School and received his bachelor's degree from Northeastern State in 2002.
"I'm extremely excited," Richardson said. "All I can think of right now is how grateful I am for the opportunity, and that I look forward to hitting the ground running and looking forward."
Richardson and other Sequoyah officials are hopeful of putting the past behind them and "looking forward to the good things in store for Indian football in the future," Crittenden said.
Sequoyah forfeited nine football games last season and its spot in the Class 3A football playoffs after a total of 12 football players were suspended for participating in summer camps at school expense.
That is a violation of OSSAA rules, but Scott maintained he was only doing what previous Sequoyah administrators had approved. Crittenden and Sequoyah superintendent Leroy Qualls are in the first year of their current duties.
On Nov. 7, the OSSAA's board of directors reinstated athletic eligibility for all of the athletes except senior quarterback Brayden Scott. The coach's son graduated early and is now at the University of Memphis on scholarship.
The board also levied strict prohibitions on the football program for the 2012-13 offseason and recommended an internal audit to determine if other athletes were ineligible and what was needed to guard against similar violations in the future.
On Wednesday, the board accepted Sequoyah's report and closed its investigation with no further action against the school.
"Since all this happened, we've spent a fair amount of time looking back in retrospect," Richardson said Thursday. "One of the things I look forward to is being able to look forward and not looking back."
Richardson inherits a team that loses 16 seniors from last season and the school's career-leading passer (Scott). Then, there are the OSSAA prohibitions that could hinder preparation for the 2013 season - no spring practices, summer camps, passing leagues or scrimmages.
Mike Brown 918-581-8390