OWASSO — After chasing a gold ball for almost 35 years, former Commerce head coach Rick Trimble finally got it done.
Trimble is running backs coach at Owasso, which captured the Class 6A-I state championship Friday, Dec. 1, with a 21-14 victory over Union at Chapman Stadium on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
“It really, really feels good,” Trible said. “That is the ultimate in coaching. That’s not to say if you don’t do that, coaching is not great and rewarding, but it puts the icing on the cake.”
Trimble was the Tigers’ head coach from 1990 to 2006, compiling a 138-63 record.
Inheriting a team that had lost 17 straight games, his 1990 team went 4-6, then reached the 2A semifinals the following year.
Trimble had eight teams that won 10-plus games in a season and went 12-1 three times.
The Tigers reached the quarterfinals six straight years, from 2001-06.
“There were a few times I thought we had a chance,” Trimble said.
He broke into the coaching profession as a volunteer assistant at Picher-Cardin under current Quapaw head coach Chris Cawyer.
“This year we stayed healthy and we have a lot of great players,” he said. “It’s been a real fun ride, that’s for sure. They are good kids and hard workers. I am happy to see them have the success.”
The championship by the Rams, in head coach Bill Blankenship’s first season, ended a lock on the 6A state by Union and Jenks that first began in 1995.
And it followed on the heels of a 3-7 showing in 2016.
Owasso’s defense forced three turnovers and took advantage of a big game by quarterback Will Kuehne.
“You have to give them a lot of credit,” Trimble said. “They have been able to rise up to a higher level in the playoffs year in and year out. Its amazing they have been able to do what they have done for many consecutive years.
“To be a pair of a team that comes in and does this is very rewarding.”
Trimble is not sure of what the future holds.
“I still really enjoy coaching,” he said. “I want to sit back and think things over.”