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Dustin Kinard, former Sand Springs football coach, watches from the sidelines in a game against Shawnee last September in the Sandites’ Memorial Stadium. On Monday, he was hired as new head coach at Mannford High School. CORY YOUNG/for the Tulsa World

Dustin Kinard, dismissed as Sand Springs football coach after 13 seasons, has landed on his feet.

He was approved as new head coach at Mannford High School in a meeting of that district’s school board Monday night.

“I’m excited. I can’t wait to start building relationships with the community and the players,” Kinard said.

Mannford, which competes at the 3A level in football, has not had a winning season since 2013 but the Pirates did go to the playoffs in 2017 and finished 5-6.

Kinard went 64-76 at the Sandites helm, reaching the playoffs seven times and finishing runner-up to Bixby for the 6A Division II title in 2015.

Kinard said he continues to be cancer free, 15 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2018.

Last February, he had his spleen and two-thirds of his pancreas removed. He also underwent seven months of chemotherapy treatments.

As Kinard’s replacement, Sand Springs hired Bobby Klinck, who guided East Central to a 5A state runner-up finish in 2012.

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— Mike Brown,

Tulsa World