While at Wilburton Public Schools, Billy Karr was having to deal with basketball players who played football for the Diggers. Now that he's the new coach of the Whitesboro Bulldogs basketball team, he won't have to concern himself with that any more.
“It had a lot to do with the fact that it's not a football school,” Karr said about taking the coaching job. “I'll be getting my kids in October, and start the season Nov. 1. I did a lot of my assistant coaching job in Okarche with Ray West. I just decided that it was time (to go for this job).”
The reason the opening became available was a sad one. Right after this past basketball season ended, Karr's predecessor, Wayne Tucker — who had just finished his first season as ’Dogs' coach — was killed in a single-car accident in March on Oklahoma State Highway 63 near Muse. However, Karr has not really talked about the tragedy a whole lot since coming on board.
“I really haven't brought it up that much,” he said. “I don't think it's my position to bring that up. I knew the what the situation was when I got into it. At first, it kind of scared me a little bit. But then I started talking to the people, and then it took just a couple of days to get adjusted. Everything seems to be going good, and we're going full steam ahead.”
As for Karr's new team, he inherits a Bulldog team which went 10-18 last season and got to the Class B Regional Tournament, but returns many players from that team.
“They're returning a lot of starters, and guys who had a lot of minutes last year,” Karr said. “Some had some injuries that hurt them last year. We still have one out due to injuries — Robbie Hinchee hasn't been able to play with us all summer. But everyone else is here, and giving it all they've got.”
Defense has been the top thing to work on this summer for Karr.
“I think what we've tried to do is to get better defensively,” he said. “We've got about six to eight game films from last year that we've watched, and we just felt that was an area that they were very inconsistent in. So, we've been working on that, and then slowly start to work in some of the offensive plays. They've been adjusting to everything very well.”
Now all that's left is for school to begin, and prepare for the 2012-13 season.
“I'm truly excited,” Karr said. “I can't wait for school to here, get them in the gym more often and get going. I think we have a chance to have a pretty good season, especially in Class B. I think we can make a successful run.”