Tom Howard to coach in Oil Bowl football game

Nick Gholson
Times Record News

Less than two months after leading the Henrietta High School football team to its first state semifinal appearance in school history, Tom Howard has been selected to coach in the 68th Oil Bowl game.

“I am excited and honored,” Howard said. “This is an honor for our entire coaching staff and program.”

Howard will join Gainesville’s Jeff Cordell and McKinney’s Todd McVey on the coaching staff for the Texas all-star team.

Don Hendrix of Muskogee Hilldale will head up the coaching staff for the Oklahoma all-stars, which includes Butch Rawls of Holdenville and Phil Elerick of Cashion.

The two coaching staffs will get together in Wichita Falls today for a press conference and planning sessions for the annual all-star game, which will be played at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, in Memorial Stadium.

Inheriting a tough schedule when he took the Henrietta job in 1998, Howard lost 21 straight games before getting his first win with the Bearcats.

But in the 2000 season, he led the team to an 8-4 record and the school’s first football district championship in 26 years.

In 2004, Howard’s seventh season, Henrietta went 12-2, its only two losses coming against state champion Boyd.

Howard, Cordell and McVey will be trying to get Texas a second straight Oil Bowl win.

The Texans blew past Oklahoma, 40-10, last year to increase the state’s series advantage to 41-17-1.

The 68th Oil Bowl will be dedicated to former Baylor coach Grant Teaff, who coached the Oil Bowl in 1964 and 1971. Currently the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, Teaff will be honored at the Oil Bowl banquet on Friday, June 17, and at the game the following night.

The Oil Bowl also features a doubleheader night of basketball matching both boys and girls teams from Texas and Oklahoma. Those games will be played on Thursday, June 16, in D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

This year’s basketball games will be dedicated to former Midwestern State coach Gerald Stockton. Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton will take part in the dedication ceremony.

The event is sponsored by the Maskat Shrine Temple of Wichita Falls and benefits crippled children charities in Texas and Oklahoma.

Sports Editor Nick Gholson can be reached before 4 p.m. weekdays by calling (940) 720-3447 or 1-800-627-1644 (ext. 447). Or you can e-mail him at gholsonn(at)timesrecordnews.com.