On a night that Mustang Public Schools approved a new superintendent, the Broncos football team is also under new supervision.
Lee Blankenship, 33, has been approved as the Broncos’ seventh head football coach in school history.
“I’m not anything special, to be honest. There are a lot of great football coaches around this state. What I am is somebody that loves kids, I understand the platform that I’ve been given, and I take that seriously,” said Blankenship. “My whole career has been about making boys into good young men, good future daddies, good future husbands and teach them what it means to have character.”
The board of education approved the hire, based on the selection by Athletic Director Robert Foreman, at its meeting Monday.
Blankenship was chosen from 50 applicants and won over the athletic department staff in interviews. Foreman interviewed four applicants and chose Blankenship as the one he wants in charge of his football program.
“Over 50 applicants, from college head coaches, college coordinators, high school coaches from all over the state and Arkansas, Texas, Oregon and Iowa. So, it was a highly sought-after job,” said Foreman. “As we began to narrow our focus and identify the characteristics that we were looking for, it became obvious that Lee Blankenship was the guy at the top of our list from the very beginning.”
Blankenship comes to Mustang after a one year stay at Bartlesville High School. The Bruins ended the season with a 4-6 record, as did the Broncos, after a 1-9 season the year before Blankenship arrived.
“Everywhere he has been he has had success. So, it was just a great fit for us and a great fit for the community,” said Foreman. “Soon everyone will see exactly what the committee saw; a good man, a strong Christian man that will come in and do things the right way.”
In his coaching career Blankenship has only missed the playoffs one time. Blankenship was the head coach for the 2017 Class 3A runner-up Beggs Demons and was named a finalist for the Oklahoma Coaches Association football coach of the year in the same season.
In Blankenship’s playing career he walked on at the University of Oklahoma before losing his right index finger in a horse-riding accident. He spent the next two years re-learning how to throw a football.
“It sounds like I shouldn’t have put my hand in the rope,” Blankenship says chuckling. “The process taught me so much about life and help mold me into the man I am today.”
Blankenship then walked on at East Central University in Ada, where he became the starting quarterback.
Blankenship comes into Mustang looking to turn around a program that hasn’t earned a playoff berth the last two seasons.
The small town feel that this place has, I didn’t think a place like that existed with this level and size of school. That is right up my alley,” Blankenship said. “Shoot, I’m wearing cowboy boots right now.”
Blankenship is a well-known name around the Oklahoma coaching scene as Lee’s second cousin is Bill Blankenship, who has won state championships at Tulsa Union, Fayetteville, Arkansas and most recently at Owasso in 2017. Bill also spent some time in the collegiate level at the University of Tulsa.
“The last name in and of itself, Blankenship, in Oklahoma high school football, everyone knows Bill Blankenship,” said Foreman.
Lee Blankenship knew from a young age he was going to be a football coach. In his eight years of coaching he has done a fine job with his 64-30 record being a testament to that.
“For a guy that is wearing cowboy boots, and I’m missing a finger from a horse accident, I’m fired up to be the head coach of the Broncos and to be able to work with the kids here in the community. That didn’t mean to be a pun, but I’m chomping at the bit to get started and get to know our kids,” said Blankenship. “I really have a great hope for Mustang athletics and of course Mustang football as well.”