By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Doug Buckmaster, offensive coordinator the past two seasons at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, was announced as the head football coach at Carl Junction High School on Friday.
Jesse Wall recently stepped down after three years as the Bulldogs’ head coach to concentrate on duties as athletics director and assistant principal at the Big 8 Conference school.
Wall said there were 24 applicants for the position. Six candidates were interviewed.
“I believe we have a great hire,” Dr. Phil Cook, Carl Junction superintendent, said. “I’m excited. I can’t wait for the football season to start.
“Coach Buckmaster’s resume speaks for itself,” Cook said. “He’s been at a lot of places. He’s helped build winners.
“I’ve known Coach Buckmaster for a long time,” Cook said. “I call him a friend..
“We were very pleased with our number of applicants and their quality,” Cook said. “The whole process actually went quicker than I had anticipated. We wanted to make sure.
“We conducted one of the interviews in the dark,” Cook added with a laugh (because of Monday’s power outage).
Said Wall: “We’ve hired a very knowledgeable football coach. We believe the program is in a good place. Coach (Buckmaster), whom I’ve known for a long time, will work very hard to make it a success.”
Buckmaster, who turns 53 today, is a graduate of Quapaw High School. He attended NEO before securing degrees from Missouri Southern and William Woods (the master’s degree is in athletic administration).
“I’m thrilled to death for the opportunity,” Buckmaster said. “Thank the Good Lord. It’s a blessing for my family. It’s a good fit for me. I can’t wait to get started.”
Ironically the Buckmasters — he’s married to the former Teresa Soper of Baxter Springs — have resided in Briarbrook for some seven years.
Buckmaster said he plans to install a multiple offense that spreads the field while striving for balance in both the running and passing game. This same aggressive philosophy, he said, will carry over to the defense.
“I look forward to working with Coach Wall — a football guy — and Dr. Cook,” Buckmaster said. “Everything is in place. Coach Wall has done a great job. We just need to build on what he’s been doing.”
Buckmaster noted that he’d spent a pair of two-year stints at NEO — several years apart — under Dale Patterson.
“I enjoyed my time with the Golden Norsemen,” Buckmaster said. “But I’m a high school coach. I belong in high school. I’ll stay in high school.”
Buckmaster, who started his coaching career as a baseball assistant for Don Karnes at Baxter Springs High School, became a head football coach for the first time with five years at Riverton.
He moved to Jenks for one year as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for an Oklahoma Class 6A crown before the first stint at NEO. Then it was back to the preps as a head coach with two years at Carthage and six at Joplin.
Buckmaster also is the discipline coordinator at NEO and will work at least through May at the Miami school.
“I like the new NEO head coach (athletics director Patterson stepped down as coach and was replaced by Sherard Poteete) and wish him well,” Buckmaster said. “I’ll continue to help with recruiting and may assist in spring ball.”
Buckmaster will be in charge of the Bulldogs’ strength and conditioning programs.