NORMAN — For the first time in a dozen years, Norman North’s boys basketball program will have a new coach on the sideline when it tips off next season.
Butch Roberts announced Thursday that he has resigned as Timberwolves coach. He has been a part of the program since its inception 16 years ago and spent the last 11 as head coach.
Roberts said the stresses of coaching led to his decision to step down, though he will continue to teach at the school.
“Being a head coach is a whole lot tougher than it was 10 years ago,” he said. “It kind of wears you down. I wasn’t sure I could give it all I needed to, so I’m going to take a break.”
Roberts helped develop the program from the ground up after North opened in 1997 and turned it into a successful unit after he took over as head coach. The T-Wolves made it to the state tournament in 2006 and 2010 under Roberts’ leadership.
They also returned to winning form a season ago after a rebuilding year in 2011, going 11-13 while starting two freshmen as part of a young roster.
“I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs and a lot of changes in the last 11 years,” Roberts said. “I’ve seen a lot of things and been through a lot of it, so leaving that part is sad. I see myself coaching again, but I don’t know when or where it will be. Right now, a little time away is probably the best thing.”
With Roberts’ departure, administrators at North will have to hire a boys basketball coach for the second time since the school opened. Athletic coordinator Eddie Paul said officials would post the job immediately and begin looking into possible coaches.
“We’re going to get this done as quickly as we can,” he said. “Right now, we’re just beginning the process and are looking to hire to the best possible candidate for our team.”
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