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Spears handed reins of KHS girls basketball

April 03, 2019 - 00:00
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Garber native, former Enid coach ready to teach ‘ladder to mastery’

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    KINGFISHER SUPERINTENDENT Jason Sternberger, far left, welcomes new girls basketball coach Gerrett Spears as well as his wife Rachael and son Benaiah. [Photo by KHS Photography]

Gerrett Spears has in his coaching arsenal a “ladder to mastery” that he uses to build up his teams.

The Kingfisher High School girls basketball team will soon begin climbing that ladder.

Spears was hired Monday night by the Kingfisher Board of Education to become the next coach of one of its proudest programs. His hire was approved after about a 30-minute executive session.

“Kingfisher is a special place and I’m not trying to be clichéd,” Spears said. “A job like this doesn’t open up every year and when the opportunity arose that I knew I could be in the mix, I knew it wouldn’t just be great for my family, but also as a chance for me to advance my career as a coach.”

A Garber native, Spears comes to Kingfisher after serving as head coach of the Enid girls program the last two years.

Spears also had two-year stints as the boys basketball coach at Drummond and Weatherford. Prior to that, he spent seven years working with collegiate programs at Wichita State and Drake universities.

Spears takes over for Jay Wood, who stepped down after a four-year run to serve as athletic director and assistant high school principal.

Wood’s teams were 57-51 and reached the area tournament the final three years.

The program owns four state championships and has reached state 25 times, but none since 2009.

“The culture that Kingfisher has is something that really motivates me,” said Spears after being introduced to the board.

Eagerness and work ethic were two of the traits that impressed Spears upon Superintendent Jason Sternberger.

“He’s very energetic and everyone you talk to talks about how hard he works,” Sternberger said. “He’s very big on team bonding and also has very detailed plans for working with the younger players all the way down to elementary, something he’s done everywhere he’s been.”

Spears was scheduled to meet with his new team Wednesday afternoon. That’s where they’ll first learn of the “ladder to mastery.”

“I’m a big believer in it,” he said. ‘It’s about being the best person themselves and giving their best everyday. Two things I learned from my Wichita State days were to never be out-worked and to out-compete everyone.

“I’m going to show up to work everyday and give them my best and that’s what I want from them.”

Spears was at the meeting with his wife, Rachael, a former Maroney whose parents still live outside of Kingfisher, and 1-year-old son, Benaiah.

“I wasn’t looking to leave Enid,” he said. “We were happy there; my principal and athletic director treated me really well.

“But my wife is from Kingfisher and it will be nice to have help with our son. I work a lot, so for her to have that help definitely is a benefit.”

Spears’ Enid teams only won 12 games in two years, a fact he doesn’t shy away from. He pointed out the Pacers won twice as many games in his second year as in the first.

“Eight doesn’t look like a lot of wins and I’ll be the first to say eight wins is not enough,” he said. “But we maxed out at Enid this year. If you look at our schedule and who we played, consider we started three sophomores, you would see we really maxed out.”

Spears knows eight wins won’t cut it in Kingfisher.

“I’m really excited about the high expectations,” he said.

To reach the lofty outlook, Spears said he’ll ask for a commitment from his players.

“I just want them to give their best everyday and do the little things right daily,” he said. “I think if they show up and give their best, good things will always happen.”