Owasso football

Owasso football has hired Christian Hood, a former Union standout, as its new receivers coach. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Christian Hood’s coaching star was ascending quickly at Central Oklahoma, but the chance to live closer to family was too strong of a tug for the former Union standout.

His desire to return to his roots landed Hood as the next receivers coach at Owasso, a position the 28-year-old starred at during his high school and college playing days. Rams coach Bill Blankenship made the announcement Thursday.

“We have an 18 month-old daughter and wanted to get our daughter a whole lot closer to Tulsa,” Hood said. “That and the opportunity to work underneath coach (Bill) Blankenship is hard to pass up on.”

Hood became the third new addition to the football staff of the defending Class 6AI state champions during the offseason, following the hiring of Brad Calip and Dominque Franks. Hood takes over for Zac Simmonds as receivers coach. Simmonds will replace the departed Stephen Hogan as quarterbacks coach while maintaining his co-offensive coordinator title. Hogan was one of three Owasso assistants who joined former Rams defensive coordinator Bobby Klinck when Klinck was hired as Sand Springs’ head coach in December.

Hood coached the past five years at UCO. Hood spent two years as a graduate assistant then was hired as a full-time assistant coach in 2017. The last three years, he was promoted to offensive coordinator, handled play-calling duties and coached quarterbacks.

Hood was a four-year starter at receiver for UCO from 2011-14. He finished his playing career as the school’s all-time leader in receptions and third in receiving yards.

In high school, Hood earned All-State honors with Union. The 2010 Tulsa World All-Metro Player of the Year scored the game-winning touchdown in the final minute of the Class 6A state championship game against Jenks his senior season.

“I’m excited because Christian brings a lot to the table,” Blankenship said. “He played the position at a very high level both in high school and college then he has grown through the coaching ranks. He’s really smart. He’s a really good teacher of the game.”

Although Hood did not play for Blankenship at Union, the two have several connections. Hood served as an intern on Blankenship’s University of Tulsa staff in 2014. Blankenship’s sons, Josh and Adam, were both assistants at Union during Hood’s playing career as was current Owasso defensive coordinator Antonio Graham.

“As a Tulsa lifer and playing against Owasso, I’d always seen it as a program on the rise,” Hood said. “It was a sleeping giant. And now with coach Blankenship taking over and winning championships, it’s been really impressive. I’m really looking forward to introducing myself to the community and excited to be part of it.”

Hood’s wife, Alexis, attended Skiatook High School. The couple has one child, Andie.