For the first time since 2016, Yukon’s defense will have a new face leading it.
Defensive coordinator Craig Hubbard has accepted the defensive coordinator position with Hennessey after three years on the job for the Millers.
The process began March 27 when Hubbard saw that his friend Paul Hix had accepted the head coaching position with Class 2A Hennessey. Hubbard sent Hix a congratulatory text message, which was returned with a phone call from Hix to Hubbard.
The Hennessey head man wanted to take his shot with Hubbard, and he did just that. Hix asked Hubbard to join him as his defensive coordinator.
“I told him that I needed some time to think it over because my family and I are really comfortable here in Yukon,” Hubbard said. “Three days later, I spoke to Paul again after he had talked with his superintendent and athletic director and they made me an offer I just couldn’t refuse. My wife (Amy) and I traveled up there to visit and we liked it. We came back home and prayed about it.”
Only two things stood in the way of Hubbard accepting the Hennessey job … the first was his wife’s job and his son being able to play for him.
“My wife works for Devon Energy in Oklahoma City, so we had to make sure it was going to work with her job. Devon is allowing her to work remotely and only come into the office once a week to meet with her team and my son (Caleb) will be able to transfer from Bethany to Hennessey and play for me. Once those two things were set, I knew this was the right move and I called Paul and accepted the job.”
Hubbard will be the defensive coordinator, strength and conditioning coach and director of alternative education, which is an administrative title.
The Hubbards have lived in Yukon for the past 13 years since moving from Kansas City. Hubbard spent the first 10 years on the Southern Nazarene University football staff before becoming the defensive coordinator at Yukon in 2016.
Yukon wanted time to try and match the offer that Hennessey put on the table, but the Millers weren’t able to do so.
“My coaching friends told me I would be an idiot not to take the offer and that it was a no-brainer,” Hubbard said. “But, it wasn’t at all. It was a really tough decision. We have invested a lot into this community as a family. The toughest part was having to tell my players and I had to do that twice. I had to tell the varsity players, first thing in the morning on that day and then had to give the same speech to the freshmen players at the end of the day.”
Hubbard has seen the Yukon football program turn around from being one of the worst in the state to being a respected program.
Hubbard’s first season was in 2016 when the Millers went 0-10, but since then, he has helped lead Yukon to 10 wins in two seasons and helped get the Millers back to their first winning season since 2013 with a 6-4 mark in 2018.
“Coach (Jeremy) Reed has done an amazing job,” Hubbard said. “It’s been an honor getting to work with him over the past several years. Yukon is heading in a great direction. I have grown a lot as a coach in my time here at Yukon. I have gained a ton of respect for high school coaches. It is so different from coaching the college game because in college, you only have to deal with the athletes, but in high school, you have to deal with everyone. That is one area I have really grown. I am very thankful for my time here.”
Hubbard taught street law while he was at Yukon. His daughter, Hannah, will be playing volleyball at Randall University in Norman. He said this decision was very much a family one.
“This decision would not have taken place if my family would not have been on board,” Hubbard said. “They have been incredible and nothing but supportive in this process. This was the right decision for my entire family and I would not have made it otherwise.”