That young man in the Fightin' Chicks uniform will now hold the clipboard and command the headsets.
Jerry Don Bray, former Chickasha and Oklahoma State University football player and an eight-year assistant coach, was named head coach on Monday night by the Board of Education. Given the amount of time there was to determine a Tom Cobble successor -- he resigned at the end of May -- promoting from within seems the most viable option. That didn't eliminate the need to rise above other candidates, however.
"There was a normal search, five candidates who were interviewed," Athletic Director Yohance Brown said. "In my opinion, it was a no brainer. He's never wavered from his desire to be a head football coach."
Bray said he has received an outpouring of support from the community as he embarks on the next chapter of his life with Chickasha.
"The whole community has bee supportive, people calling and texting me saying they're happy and that I have their support," Bray said. "It's been an exciting time."
When veteran Cobble announced just before school let out that he tendered his resignation, he said at the time that Bray would be a good fit. In fact, knowing coaches like Bray were part of the Fightin' Chicks program helped in his decision to leave and pursue other interests.
Bray said he's received phone calls from Cobble, congratulating him on the promotion. It's reaffirmed his confidence in his ability to take charge of the program.
"I wasn't expecting Coach Cobble to leave, I thought he would stay for at least one more season," Bray said. "But, I felt I was ready to take over."
Now, even more work begins to assemble the rest of the Figthin' Chicks staff. Bray said currently for football in grades 7-12 there are three Chickasha coaches. One of them, Joe Moulder, will take Bray's place as the varsity defensive coordinator next season. Bray will switch to the offensive side of the ball, where he believes it is easier to control the game.