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Hunt ends Hennessey search

June 02, 2024 - 00:00
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Board approves hiring of new basketball coach, other moves at special meeting

  • Hunt ends Hennessey search
    NEW HENNESSEY boys basketball coach Dallas Hunt is pictured with his wife Melissa and stepsons Taye Sullivan, who is a student at UCO, and Tallas Sullivan, who will be in fourth grade. [Photo provided]

Dallas Hunt has kept his eye on Hennessey’s basketball success for several years.

Now he gets the opportunity to build on it.

Hennessey Board of Education members voted Tuesday in a special meeting to hire Hunt as the next high school boys basketball coach.

He succeeds Brady Page whose resignation was among those presented to the board.

Page coached Hennessey to six state tournaments in 13 seasons, an unprecedented run of success for the program.

“Hennessey had such a rich history and was a really great program. Coach Page did such a great job there,” Hunt told the Times & Free Press.

“I knew when it came open that it was one of the premier jobs in this area.”

Hunt knows the area well.

He’s a 2015 Garber High School graduate who went on to earn a degree from Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

He returned to Garber and served as an assistant coach from 2017-22.

The first four of those seasons was with Will Jones as head coach as the Wolverines reached state three times, won the 2020 Class A state title and were the 2021 state runners-up.

Jones, also the superintendent, stepped down and hired Fletcher Reed and Hunt was an assistant under him when Garber was the 2022 state runner-up.

“I pulled a lot from both of them,” Hunt said. “Coach Jones was my main mentor and he taught me a lot. I’ve copied a lot of his offensive stuff. He has a great mind for both offense and defense.

“Fletcher was more of a free-flow coach who gave the kids more freedom and they played a lot faster. I’m somewhere in the middle of them. Sometimes we need to slow it down and we will while other times we really need to push the tempo.”

Hunt said he’s reached out to both coaches the last two years when he was a head coach himself.

He served at Burlington in 2022-23 and last year was the head coach at Ringwood.

His Red Devils team went 20-8.

“He came highly recommended by some experienced coaches,” said Hennessey Superintendent Jason Sternberger. I visited with some opposing coaches and referees and they said he handles himself great with the kids and his kids are always well-prepared.

“I felt he brought a level of excitement and knowledge to continue the success we’ve had, not only in basketball, but willingness to build our entire sports program.”

Hunt will teach Oklahoma history and will have other - yet undetermined coaching duties.

He makes the move with his wife Melissa and stepson, Tallas Sullivan, who will be in fourth grade. Another stepson, Taye Sullivan, is in college.

He met Thursday for the first time with his new team.

“It was a phenomenal meeting,” he said. “They were responsive to me. They seemed to be excited and I’m excited.”

Hennessey will take part this week in the team camp at Cashion. The following week it’s Fairview and then Frontier after that.

“We’re about to hit the ground running,” Hunt said.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved the hiring of Doug Boyd as a high school science teacher.

Boyd is a Turpin native who spent 31 years teaching and coaching in Texas.

After a year away, he said he had a “desire to return as an educator and coach.”

Sternberger said Boyd will have coaching duties at Hennessey, but those have not yet been determined.

In 17 years at Canadian ISD, he coached a variety of sports including girls basketball, track and strength and conditioning.

He also coached girls basketball, football, golf and track during a 14-year stint at Farwell ISD.

His teaching duties at the two schools included health/PE, middle school science, and high school biology I and II.

Tuesday’s agenda called for the hiring of a high school math teacher, but Sternberger didn’t make a recommendation for the board.

Other resignations presented were Dawn Jones, special education teacher, and Katie Soudek, elementary counselor.

The 37-minute meeting was attended by board members Amy Charmasson, Patrick Griffin, Luke Lough and James Matousek.

Dakota Semrad was absent.