By BOB CRAMER
Assistant Cole Prestidge, who coaches Mustang High’s Bronco backs, will look across the field in pregame warmups and see a familiar face when MHS entertains Southmoore at 7 p.m. Friday.
The SaberCats’ offensive coordinator is his father, Ty Prestidge, a veteran of 47 seasons of coaching high school football in the state.
Ty Prestidge, 66, is a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Class of 2015. He is a former Mustang head coach and well known for his offensive acumen.
“He has always been ahead of the game offensively during his career,” Cole Prestidge said. “In 2002, he had a big part in pioneering the spread no huddle offense in Oklahoma. He was doing things people see on TV today, but back in the early 2000s.”
Ty Prestidge ranks second in wins at Mustang with a 49-29 record from 2006-12, according to MHS athletic director Robert Foreman. Prestidge’s .628 winning percentage is the highest in school history.
As a head football coach, Ty Prestidge has a 108-117 overall record, according to Chris Wilfong of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA).
Ty Prestidge is a big reason all three of his sons are high school football coaches. In addition to Cole, Casey coaches running backs/defensive linemen at Lawton High and Clif coaches Southmoore’s quarterbacks/receivers.
“I have always been around football,” said Cole, who is a Mustang businessman and sells insurance when he isn’t coaching. “I grew up at the field house, was in homecoming as a kid, on the sidelines or getting stepped on by football players while in the huddle with dad.
“Everything I did as a kid revolved around dad being a football coach. So coaching was always going to be a part of my life.”
Cole coached with Ty at Southmoore last year, but joined Mustang head coach Lee Blankenship’s staff this season. This is the first time Cole has been an opponent of his dad’s team.
“Coach Prestidge is a phenomenal coach,” Blankenship said of Cole. “I love how hard he works to build relationships with our players.
“To coach the Bronco backs, you have to be very well-rounded because they play slot receiver, tight end and running back.”
For Cole Prestidge, joining Mustang’s staff was a homecoming of sorts. As a senior, he started at left guard on the Bronco team that went 11-3 and advanced to Class 6A state title game in 2005.
Mustang fell short, bowing in the championship to Union, 33-7. Ty Prestidge was assistant head coach/offensive coordinator for that team, and became Mustang’s head coach the next season.
Cole Prestidge went on to play college football for Southern Nazarene University and was an offensive lineman.
Ty Prestidge’s best season at Mustang came in 2008, when he led the Broncos to a 12-1 mark — their only loss came in the state semifinals to Jenks, 35-20.
Ty Prestidge and wife Meg still make Mustang their home. She is an attorney and owns Prestidge Law Firm.
“Cole is getting to coach in his hometown,” a proud Ty Prestidge said, “and he’s getting to coach with Lee. I have a lot of respect for Lee for how he treated my grandson, Tylar.”
The Blankenships and Prestidges have known each other for years. When he was at Beggs, Blankenship coached Tylar Prestidge, now a safety for Evangel University, an NAIA school in Springfield, Mo.
Cole uses many lessons in coaching Mustang’s players that he learned from his dad, who he says is his hero.
“Dad was very influential to so many kids,” Cole said. “I admired that and wanted to do the same.
“We love talking football, it’s just not as detailed as when I coached for him at Southmoore,” said Cole, 32, who stays busy with his business, coaching and raising a family. He and wife Kristina have two young children.
Ty Prestidge is an immense resource for his sons. Besides Mustang, he has been a head coach at Empire, Plainview, Purcell, Westmoore and Guthrie. He also has been an assistant coach at Waurika, Ringling, Westmoore, Mustang, Choctaw and now Southmoore, where he has coached three seasons.
“He always has sound advice in tough situatons or how to treat a kid,” Cole said. “I live by his motto, ‘It’s all about the kids.’ It’s how I coach our kids today.”