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April 15, 2014

LG cleans house, ousts four coaches

LOCUST GROVE, OK — Locust Grove High School has relieved head wrestling coach Johnny Cook and head boys basketball coach Ronnie Maple of their coaching duties, school sources said Tuesday.

The coaches reportedly met with their respective teams Tuesday morning to deliver the news. The reasons for their dismissals have not yet been made public.

“I was relieved of my coaching duties,” Maple said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “The reason that was given to me was that the board wanted to head in a different direction.

“I'm not very happy about it, but it is what it is.”

Maple received the news Tuesday morning from Locust Grove Public Schools superintendent David Cash, who did not immediately return a voicemail message for comment Tuesday.

Also let go Tuesday were assistant wrestling coach Tony Cook and head cheerleading coach Amy Brown.
 Johnny Cook has been at the school for 23 years and was named the 2013-14 OSSAA Class 3A/4A State Wrestling Coach of the Year in March, his second such award (he also received the honor in 2006). His brother Tony served as his assistant until Tuesday.

Neither Cook brother immediately returned a voicemail for comment Tuesday.


Maple said he has not been released from his teaching capacity, but expects to look outside the district for coaching opportunities.

“Ultimately, I'm a coach. That's what I do, I coach and teach. It kind of goes hand in hand with one another,” Maple said.

Maple, who was also the head girls' soccer coach, most recently led the boys basketball team to his fourth area tournament as head coach in March. He has compiled a record of 116-40 over his six seasons, each of which has resulted in a district title.

Locust Grove Athletic Director Justin Brown could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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