Caldwell new Lady Reds’ hoops coach
A familiar face to western Oklahoma and Clinton fans will take over the Lady Reds’ basketball program next winter, as Hobart head coach Brent Caldwell was named the new girls’ head coach.
Caldwell said he’s had opportunities to see what Clinton has to work with. He wants to capitalize on the Lady Reds’ athleticism and believes they can become a competitive squad.
“I’ve been at some schools that have played them,” he said. “I’m from Carnegie, so I’ve always kind of been around this area when I was at Arapaho and at Hobart, and we played them at Hobart. I saw the athletes they were running out there. I always said, ‘they’ve got better athletes then basically everyone they’re going to play.’
“Now, they may not be as a skilled at times as some of them, but they’re better athletes. We played them this year and we beat them, but I really thought that they’re not that far away.”
Caldwell has a deep background as head coach of multiple programs – the majority of which are in western Oklahoma. This past year, he led the Hobart girls’ team to a 19-7 record and the area tournament, beating the Lady Reds along the way, 60-33, in the regular season.
He has built up an impressive résumé over the years, highlighted by some deep playoff runs. He led the Sayre boys’ team in 2016-2017, the Arapaho-Butler girls’ team in 2013-2014 and the Fargo boys from 2008-2013.
At Arapaho, he went 19-10, leading them to a district title and the area tournament. His best stop came at Fargo where he went 85-36 over a four-year span, appearing in two state tournaments.
He’s also coached at the collegiate level as an assistant at Oklahoma Panhandle State and grad assistant at Cameron, so he’s well-versed in all levels of basketball. Caldwell will be looking to apply his knowledge of the game into stabilizing a program that will be on its fifth head coach in six seasons when the 2018-2019 school year rolls around.
“I’ve said all along that the key is stability,” he said. “You have to have someone come in here that’s going to be able to see the process through. The term I use is ‘trust the process.’ We’ll talk about that in our first meeting. It’s going to be a process. It may be a year, two years, three years but at some point I think we’ll turn the corner.”
Going along with stability, Caldwell wants to be around people he knows. He lives in Clinton and is engaged to Clinton Chamber of Commerce President Julie Burden. Also, Caldwell and Clinton boys’ head coach Chad Pugh are friends, so he has reasons to put roots in Clinton.