Soccer was the main reason Kevin Wright wanted to teach and coach at McAlester.
The 2007 graduate previously served as an assistant under Charlette Moss and Tim Harris for the McAlester soccer programs. Harris coached boys soccer in 2018, but Moss coached both the boys and girls in 2019 after Harris went back to Colorado.
McAlester athletic director John Homer assigned Wright the boys soccer position as Moss is set to coach only girls soccer in 2020. Wright coached the track team in 2019, and will continue to coach girls cross country.
“He has a serious passion for soccer,” Homer said. “He is a great track coach, and we hate to lose him on this aspect, but he is a still a Buffalo and he is still working with our kids.”
McAlester did not have a soccer program when Wright attended, though some people, including Wright, lobbied then-athletic director Billy Ray Holt to have one.
Now, he’ll get to follow that passion even further at his alma mater.
“It was something I’ve loved and enjoyed since I was a kid,” Wright said. “I felt that was a great opportunity for me to step in and help get some of the other kids a positive experience and opportunity to continue at a competitive level.”
The Buffaloes are still looking for their first-ever playoff appearance in soccer. Wright said the Buffs have a talented group that has gained experience. He’s hoping his players will have individual skills, ball control and technique and to work on the team tactics and culture.
Wright will be replaced as the track coach by 2009 graduate Brady May, who has served as the quarterbacks coach for the Buffs in football. May played football and baseball at McAlester, but will entering his third season in track after two prior seasons as an assistant.
“I’ve always been a pretty good runner, and going into college, (Southwestern College, Winfield, Kan.) I was a running quarterback,” May said. “So, I knew all of the techniques of running. I just needed to hone my skills as a coach.”
It is his first head coaching job, having picked up on running techniques Wright was teaching. He worked with sprinters and long jumpers this past year.
He is a believer in using the weight room, and hopes his McAlester athletes will do that.
“If you look at any good program in the state for any sport, they’re all weight lifting,” he said.
May said he talked to Homer and realized both of them had the same vision for the program. Both want to increase participation and combine track with other sports.
His goals for track are to get his athletes at a personal level and runners in relays to compete at a higher level.
Contact Corey Stolzenbach at email@example.com