Trey Owens spent the past year at Midlothian, Texas, with former Ardmore football coach Doug Wendell, trying to formulate schemes to defeat some of the largest prep schools in Texas.
But, in the end, the Davis native missed being in small-town Oklahoma.
The new Lone Grove football coach and athletic director has ties to southern Oklahoma.
Owens played fullback and linebacker for former Wolves coach Joe Weber and collegiately at East Central University. He started his coaching career at Coalgate where he served as an assistant and has also included stops at Ada and Midlothian. Moreover, his wife Lori is a Sulphur native.
Throughout the interview process, Lone Grove felt like home, Owens said.
“It is a great place as far as community,” he said. “After we met, I thought it was a great fit. I’m used to the small-town feel. I’m ready to get back here. It is a natural fit.”
Lone Grove High School principal Chris Sudderth announced the hiring May 2 on his Twitter account.
“The entire committee was excited after having the chance to interview Mr Owens,” Sudderth said. “Everyone we spoke to had nothing but praise for Mr Owens.
“He possesses qualities that fit Lone Grove Schools, community, and our student athletes. He brings enthusiasm, discipline, and a tremendous work ethic to this position. He is going to bring excitement to our football program and our kids will love playing for him.”
At Midlothian, Owens served as associate head coach, special teams coordinator and linebackers coach.
Owens comes to Lone Grove at a great time for its football team.
The Longhorns wrapped up their most successful season in program history this past fall, which included their first appearance in the state semifinals. The Longhorns also won their second consecutive district title, just the second in school history.
“Obviously, they have had a great few years here,” Owens said. “I know about their tradition. Lone Grove loves its football. I am hoping to come into town and continue that success and keep rolling and throw my touches into the mix. I know they have some solid kids coming back.”
Expect the Lone Grove offense to run at a slower pace under Owens than the up-tempo style that was utilized under coach Jeremy Turner.
“I am more of an old school type of mindset,” he said. “My thinking is to get from the huddle and make defensive adjustments at the line. However, when it comes down to the end of a half, we can go quick, still jump in and run an up-tempo system.”
Scheme-wise, Owens is knowledge on a number of offenses, from the wishbone to the flexbone, Pro-I and spread, and defenses, from the odd stack to the more conventional 3-4 and 4-3 defenses.
However, he hasn’t made a decision as to which ones the Longhorns will implement.
“I am not really set on anything,”he said. “We will do what is best to fit the skills of our team. My main philosophy is on blocking and tackling.”
This job will also mark the first time that Owens has served in the role of high school athletics director. He served as junior high AD during his tenure at Ada.
Owens will have a homecoming during Week 1 when Lone Grove is scheduled to play Davis at Wolf Field. The Longhorns have a Zero Week game against Cache.
“I am pretty excited about that (game vs. Davis),” Owens said. “I have been there to coach in JV, but never to coach against Davis in a varsity game. I am excited to go to Murray County and see what we can do.”