The Pryor Times

Sports

June 7, 2014

Turnaround guru Hull starts in Salina

SALINA, OK — Jody Hull has been the mastermind behind his fair share of turnarounds in his 24 seasons as a high school coach.

On Monday, Hull got his first look at his latest project: the Salina boys basketball team.

Hull has stood on the sidelines for nearly a quarter of a century in eastern Oklahoma. A 1985 graduate of Spiro High School and a football letterman at East Central University in Ada, Hull brings a wealth of experience to the small school on the east shore of Lake Hudson.

"I'm looking forward to working with the community," Hull said. "Everyone I've met so far has been very encouraging. I'm excited to get in and see what we can do."

The Salina boys improved plenty over the last two seasons, posting 15 wins in 2013-14 after a three-win campaign in 2013.

However, along with high-scoring seniors Cale Backward and Mark Cowan, second-year head coach Luke Folkerts left the Wildcats in May.

Salina Athletic Director Kyle Fowler and head girls basketball coach Mark Fraley were instrumental in bringing Hull, who will also assist on the volleyball team, to the Wildcats. Fraley coached alongside Hull in the past, and Fowler is fellow Spiro graduate.

"Salina's a nice town, sitting on Lake Hudson," Hull, who has children in the Tulsa area, said.

Hull most recently coached both the boys and girls teams in Haileyville for two years. He coaxed 19 wins from the boys in 2013-14 after the program won just three games in the two years leading up to his arrival in 2012.

Other coaching stints on Hull's resume include Oaks Mission, Foyil and Roland. At Roland, Hull's girls team led the state in scoring.

"I like to press, run half-court traps, set plays and do a lot of things that put points on the board," Hull said. "But it all depends on what kind of talent you have to work with."

Hull met his players Monday just before coaching them in a summer-league game in Chouteau, and he said he is still getting everyone's names down while he assesses their skills.

"I like what I've seen so far from some of our guys," Hull said. "We gotta get in the gym and get it together this summer."

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