One of the top football coaches in eastern Oklahoma is switching jobs, not to mention borders.
Brandon Tyler, who has been the coach for Vian since 2004, resigned that position to become an assistant coach for Van Buren. Tyler said he will be an offensive assistant with the Pointers, more than likely working with the receivers.
"It’s a great opportunity, and I’ll be working with a great staff and a great school," Tyler said on Wednesday. "I’ve heard nothing but great things about (Van Buren) coach (Greg) Werner, and I’ve known him for a while. I also like the direction the program is going.
"Me and my wife also have two young kids, and that will give me more time to be with them and not be stressed out with the demanding process of being head coach. I think it’s a win-win for me and my family."
But Tyler said it will be tough to leave Vian, where he had worked the past 15 years.
"It was a great place and a great school and I wish them the best of luck," Tyler said. "They’ve got great people and great kids over there. … It was just one of those decisions I had to make."
Tyler had been the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator when he was promoted to coach prior to the 2004 season. He then was part of a successful run at Vian, going 128-25.
While at Vian, Tyler led the Wolverines to eight district titles and four state semifinal appearances, most recently in 2013.
His 2006 team made it to the 2A State Championship Game before falling by a point to Oklahoma City Millwood. That 2006 squad featured, among others, tailback Vfastv Locust, who scored a state record 57 touchdowns as a junior in 2005, and Londell Taylor, who later played at the University of Oklahoma after a stint playing minor-league baseball in the Detroit Tigers organization.
In Tyler’s final season at Vian, in 2015, the Wolverines finished 10-3 before falling in the 2A quarterfinals to Chisholm. He said whomever is tabbed to replace him at Vian will be walking into a good situation.
"Offensively, we’ve got quite a few players coming back and there’s some good players coming back on defense," Tyler said. "Whoever takes over will win a lot of ballgames next year."
Tyler is the latest in a recent trend of former Oklahoma coaches who are now at Arkansas schools. Werner himself will be entering his second season as Van Buren’s coach after a stint at Poteau.
Werner also hired Seth Burgess this past week.
Burgess arrives at Van Buren after a brief stint as an assistant at Broken Arrow. Burgess also served as an assistant coach at Heavner for one season and served as an assistant at Poteau in 2013.
Burgess is a Poteau graduate, he played collegiately at Northeastern State University/ Bacone College, graduating from Northeastern State University in May of 2014 with his B.S in Health and Physical Education.
Also recently, Spiro native and former Spiro, Tulsa Union and University of Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship took over the coaching job at Fayetteville.