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Stark excited for chance in Piedmont

Blake Colston

Piedmont’s search for a new girls basketball coach is complete.

On Thursday, Piedmont Schools Superintendent James White announced that Okeene girls basketball head coach Jordan Stark had accepted Piedmont’s head coaching position.

“Coach Stark will be a tremendous asset to our district, and we are looking forward to her working with our student-athletes to continue the recent success of our basketball program,” White said. “She will bring energy and enthusiasm to our school district.”

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Stark, who met with her players on Friday, added in a phone interview with The Gazette on Friday afternoon. “I’m really excited to get started.”

Stark, an All-State performer in high school for Weatherford’s 2007 4A state championship team who went on to play in college at the University of Texas-San Antonio, led Okeene to a 12-12 record in her only season as head coach at the Class A school. Stark played for legendary high school basketball coach Rick Wilson at Weatherford. She also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Clinton High School.

Stark learned from each of the experiences.

“Coach Wilson taught me a lot about having character as a person and always competing,” she said. “At UTSA, I learned so much about the dynamics of the game and really understanding opponents. It was much more about x’s and o’s there.”

Making the jump to a head coaching position in Oklahoma’s second largest class after one season as a head coach in Class A, the state’s second smallest class, doesn’t worry Stark. In fact, she said she’ll be more comfortable in Class 5A.

“Class A was a total adjustment for me. You live in a small community… It was a great experience for me and without it I wouldn’t be who am I,” she said. “But I’m happy to be back at a level I played at and am more familiar with.”

Stark replaces former Piedmont head coach Jamie Hill who took the helm of Tulsa Union’s girls program May 29. Hill built a strong relationship with much of the roster that returns next season, something Stark hopes to do as well.

Defense, Stark hopes, will be the identity of her teams at Piedmont. Though she said each team has its own personality and strengths.

As she relates to players, Stark offered a varied approach.

“I think you kind of figure that as you go. There will be times you need to yell and times when you need yo be enthusiastic with them,” she said. “So I can’t say that I’m one kind of coach really.”

Piedmont has already wrapped up summer league play at Edmond North High School, but Stark said there is a possibility of entering another summer league or team camp later this summer. The Lady Wildcats begin offseason conditioning Monday, which will give Stark her first opportunity to see her team workout.

Piedmont has advanced to three consecutive state tournaments, including a state semifinals appearance a year ago.

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