The Bulldogs coach could become the fourth coach in the history of Oklahoma high school football to win 300 career games.
SULPHUR — As the sun set behind them, two longtime friends sat in lawn chairs on the southwest side of Agee Field, watching their schools’ junior-high programs play each other.
Sulphur coach Jim Dixon and Seminole coach Mike Snyder talk on a consistent basis, Dixon said.
“We visit all the time,” Dixon said, adding his friendship with Snyder originated due in large part to coaching clinics.
That day — Sept. 19 — was a time for two titans of the profession to converse in person.
At the time, the two coaches owned 639 wins between them. District play would start in four days, each coach poised to pen another chapter to their storied careers at their respective schools.
Three coaches in Oklahoma high school football history have 300 career wins. Snyder is the most recent entry, joining the 300-win club on Sept. 14, 2012, when Seminole defeated McLoud 62-24.
Sulphur coach Jim Dixon has 299.
The Bulldogs have an opportunity to deliver No. 300 at 7:30 p.m. today when the two teams clash in Seminole in their regular-season finales.
Dixon deflected credit — and said a Sulphur victory is the chief objective as the Bulldogs prepare for their regular-season finale.
“I haven’t won anything,” Dixon said. “I’ve coached some good players over the years and had some real good assistant coaches. Most of them have been Sulphur boys themselves.
“I’ve been blessed. There’s no doubt about that.”
Bruce Hendrickson leads the state with 364 career victories. The Ardmoreite searched the record book on the National Federation of State High School Associations’ website on Thursday. The site indicates that Hendrickson’s career record is 364-100-2.
Hendrickson coached against Snyder and Joe Tunnell, who is third on the career list with 322 victories.
Snyder is second, currently with 345 wins, per iwasatthegame.com.
Snyder earned win No. 300 on Sept. 14, 2012, when Seminole defeated McLoud 62-24.
“It’s a great milestone for Mike (Snyder),” Hendrickson told The Oklahoman in a story dated Sept. 15, 2012. “Both of those guys are class acts.”
Since Sept. 19 of this year, Sulphur added four wins to Dixon’s ledger. Seminole, one.
Dixon- and Snyder-coached have their own series.
“We’ve played Seminole off and on for years,” Dixon said. “He was an assistant there for a few years then he became the head coach when he was probably 30 years old.”
According to Iwasatthegame.com, Seminole leads the head-to-head series 8-7. The most recent contest is the Chieftains’ 35-7 win in Week 1 of the 2014 playoffs. That victory snapped Sulphur’s three-game winning streak in the series. The Bulldogs’ first state championship occurred within that timeframe, a 26-13 win against Seminole in the 2002 Class 3A state championship game.
That was Dixon’s 200th career victory.
Dixon credits his longevity to walks with his wife, Mary Alice.
“We’ve probably been walking together for, oh, 30 years,” he said, chuckling. “If I hadn’t been walking, I’d probably be dead by now because I wouldn’t have kept my weight down.
“That’s been real good for me.”
Due to Dixon’s longevity, he’s coached players who have gone on to coach with him. A vast majority of the Bulldogs’ coaching staff played for Dixon. Athletic Director and football coach Corey Cole is among them.
“There’s been a lot of coaches come through here, a lot of his great friends and a lot of people that have played for him,” Cole said. “There’s been one common denominator: Dixon. That’s pretty unique. It’s special that 299 wins have been at Sulphur High School.
“What I like about him is he’s old-fashioned, he’s old-school. He tells you like it is and that’s the way it’s going to be. To have that old-school perspective, it is refreshing for us to have that. It’s neat for our community to have somebody like coach Dixon.
“He’s the best. End of conversation.”