COMMERCE - Mitch Crittenden, offensive coordinator at Class 4A powerhouse Glenpool the past six years, has been named head football coach at Commerce High School.

The hiring of Crittenden was made official Monday night.

“When I looked in the past, I thought I had a good job,” Crittenden said. “I've been at good stops - Del City, Okmulgee and Bristow. I thought I would give it a try. It was time. I wasn't going to leave for just anything my ego isn't so big that I have to have the head coach title. I have outgrown that.”

He succeeds Rick Trimble, who resigned in March to accept a position as an assistant coach at Owasso.

“He's real excited,” Commerce athletic director Rusty Barker said. “We think he will do a good job for us.”

“He's been a big part of our success,” Glenpool head coach Steve Edwards said Wednesday. “We hate to lose him, but it's a good opportunity for him.”

Crittenden was chosen from more than 20 applicants, Barker said.

The Warriors - state champs in 2002 -reached the Class 4A quarterfinals in 2006, losing to Grove 34-29.

They made it to the semifinals in 2005, falling to eventual champ Clinton.

Courtney Tennial, one of the best backs to ever play Oklahoma high school football, played for Crittenden and the Warriors. He originally signed with the University of Oklahoma but transferred to Tulsa to finish up his college career.

Crittenden said members of the interviewing committee were impressed with his championship ring.

“They said ‘that's a pretty nice ring,'” Crittenden said. “I told them ‘we had a pretty good horse that kinda got me that.' He was a special athlete.”

Tennial set the state's single-season rushing record with 3,426 yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior. He had 8,212 career rushing yards and 86 touchdowns in his career.

Crittenden played against Commerce in 1978 as a senior at Stroud. The Tigers notched an 18-7 victory in the second round on their way to the championship game.

Trimble, who will be running backs and H-backs coach under new Owasso head coach Bill Patterson, compiled a 138-63 record at CHS, including a 109-27 mark over the past 11 years.

The Tigers, who have won 37 straight district games, have been undefeated district champs the past five years.

The last five years at home, the Tigers are 31-3.

They've won nine district championships, nine bi-district championships and one regional championship (in 1991, when the Tigers reached the Class 2A semifinals).

The Tigers have reached the third round of the Class A playoffs six straight years and eight of the last nine seasons.

“I have watched them over the years and can tell that Coach Trimble and his staff have done a great job,” Crittenden said. “They've got a bunch of hard working, hard nosed kids. They get that from the coaches and that is something I want to continue. If you work hard, you have a chance to be successful.”

Crittenden hoped to have a chance to see some of his future players in the 2A baseball regional at Ketchum and at this weekend's state track meet.

“I am looking forward to meeting the kids and hitting the ground running,” Crittenden said.