Anytime a head coaching position comes open at Yukon High School, the spotlight gets even brighter on the YHS leaders.
People around the community and beyond begin to wonder who the Yukon Public Schools Administration is going to hire to coach their son or daughter.
Yukon High School is one of the largest schools in the state and has arguably the best athletic facilities across the board in the state, so they receive a large amount of attention on the corner of Ranchwood Blvd. and Yukon Parkway.
In early May, Yukon athletic director Mike Clark, superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth and head high school principal were given a tough task when both basketball coaches vacated their spots and decided to take other opportunities at other schools.
Boys head coach Scott Raper took the head boys basketball coaching position at Bishop McGuinness High School and head girls basketball coach Eric Sailer accepted the same position at Bethany High School.
With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, the YPS administration had to move quickly to fill those positions.
Most administrators across the state with the facilities, resources and number of students that Yukon High School possesses would go after big name coaches, who have a strong history of success as a head coach near the same level of 6A sports.
Not many of those administrators would have the guts to give an assistant coach a chance, let alone two assistant coaches.
That’s exactly what the Yukon Public Schools Administration has done with the hiring of Kevin Ritter for the head boys position and Roy Wyckoff for the head girls job.
Both Ritter and Wyckoff have been assistant coaches all their careers and have not held a head coaching position up until this point.
Ritter has been an assistant boys basketball coach for 14 years, including 10 years at Union High School in Tulsa, where he was a part of two state championship runs for the Redskins. Wyckoff has spent the past five years as an assistant boys basketball coach at Putnam City West, where he was a part of the 2016 6A state championship run by the Patriots.
Before that, Wyckoff served as the youth pastor for Covenant Church in Yukon and was an assistant coach for the Southwest Covenant boys basketball team.
Both coaches are great hires for Yukon High School and will be great leaders for the student-athletes both in-and-out of their programs.
Ritter is a favorite among the student-athletes already, as he has been at YHS for four years. He was instrumental in helping Vernon Turner becoming the best high-jumper this nation has ever seen at the high school ranks.
When I spoke to Ritter on the phone about his plan for the boys basketball program here at Yukon, he said it is important that a high school coach is adaptable to his players strengths. He said his team’s style of play will be determined by the type of players they have and that he will run a system that will allow his players the best chance to succeed.
Wyckoff is coming into Yukon from a different school but I could tell by talking with him on the phone that he is going to do great things with the Yukon girls basketball program. He understands what it takes to be successful and he is going to bring that to Yukon.
So, bravo to Mike Clark, Dr. Simeroth and Melissa Barlow for taking chances on two men that I believe are going to do great things at Yukon High School, both on and off the court.