By Scott Joiner

The search for Ardmore’s next head football coach and athletic director is nearing its end.

Interim A.D. Jim Holloway said a recommendation has been made to the school board and the candidate will be up for approval at Tuesday’s meeting.

Holloway said there was a quality pool of candidates for the job. Ardmore’s success in 2014 and in recent years added to the interest.

“Ardmore is a good job,” he said. “It was difficult for coach (Doug) Wendel to leave a good job. The reasons he had were very personal. It would’ve been hard to not accept the position he took.”

Wendel’s impact on the athletic program wasn’t limited to football over his four year tenure.

“He got this program back to where it needs to be,” Holloway said. “He established things that we’ll still carry on with the new coaching staff. He not only helped the football program, he helped the basketball program and he helped every program. He provided great leadership.”

Ardmore’s option-style offense takes time to learn and execute properly, which played a part in the process of selecting a new coach.

Much like changes in fashion, option offenses have become popular again after their heyday in the 1970s.

“A lot of schools are going back to that,” Holloway said. “I think for what we have here at Ardmore, it really fits the kids we have. The type of kids that we have. It’s a good philosophy to run that kind of offense.”

Holloway confirmed that current members of the staff were considered for the job. Coordinators Corey Russell and Josh Newby have led the team through offseason workouts and the players are working just as hard as they did under Wendel.

“The coaches have commented about how good it’s been — the best that some of them have seen in several years,” Holloway said. 

“That’s a tribute and a carryover from the success we’ve had and anticipation for an exciting season next year.”

Holloway joined the Tigers’ coaching staff last season as offensive line coach after a nine-year stint as head coach in Duncan. He previously served as head coach in Altus and Wynnewood.

He had the experience necessary to serve as interim A.D. and would like to stay involved with the program in some capacity under the new coach.

“I will strongly consider staying on and I can let you know Tuesday,” he said.