McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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MHS Buffaloes

July 3, 2014

Buffs AD finishes first month

McALESTER — John Homer has been on the job officially for a month as the new athletic director for McAlester Public Schools. His department has accomplished a lot, but there is still work to be done before school starts back in August.

“So far, everything has been real smooth,” Homer said of his first month in the new position.

Homer was a longtime coach and teacher in the McAlester schools system, and had been coordinating sports-related activities at the junior high level for some time when named to the AD slot.

The first accomplishment he cited was the hiring of Kelleya Cox as the new Lady Buffs head softball coach. This week sees the junior high and summer softball program get under way for McAlester.

As far as basketball, Buffaloes Coach Chris Zike’s team just came back from a camp, and Lady Buffs Coach April Burns saw her girls’ team wrap up their summer league games.

McAlester Buffaloes head football coach Bryan Pratt has his Summer Pride program under way, and it has already been a busy summer break for football-related activities.

McAlester hosted a summer team camp, Homer related, that drew teams from Hugo, Magnum, Wilburton, Quinton, Talihina and Antlers to McAlester for the two-day camp.

Another camp hosted by McAlester was one for quarterbacks, which was attended by about 30 players.

Two football coaches, both line coaches, have been hired by McAlester, according to the athletic director.

One is Mark Garner, to coach the offensive line. He has coaching experience at Tulsa Union and Broken Arrow. He has retired from teaching and is just here to coach, according to Homer.

Harry Wright has been hired as a defensive line coach. Homer related that Wright played his high school ball at Eufaula, so he is from the area.

Garner and Wright held a camp for linemen that drew about 40-50 attendees, according to Homer.

“We’ve had a whole lot going on,” the athletic director noted.

There are still several coaching vacancies at McAlester that Homer has been working on filling.

They include two more football coaches, a junior varsity baseball coach, a boys’ soccer coach and a girls’ golf coach.

“We’ll find somebody,” to fill the positions, Homer said.

John Yates is the news director at McAlester Radio. Contact him at


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