For the first time in 12 years, Norman High needs a football coach.

Butch Peters, who has been a teacher and coach for 35 years, retired Friday. Frank Thompson, athletic director for Norman Public Schools, will soon begin the search for a new coach.

“He told his people that he is retiring,” Thompson said. “Basically, when I receive an official letter of resignation, then we will advertise the position and start taking applications and resumes for a period of time, for about 30 days, I’m not sure how long.

“Depending on what we get in, we’ll select about five and we will interview those and make recommendations.”

Though a hard copy of Peters’ resignation may not have crossed Thompson’s desk yet, it should be on the way. Peters told The Transcript he turned in his paperwork Friday, one day after informing NHS principal Dr. Lynne Chesley he was resigning and retiring.

Peters spent 12 seasons as football coach. He also teaches algebra.

“To be honest, it took us by surprise,” Thompson said. “I was out all morning.

“I guess he feels like he has things to take care of and he felt like the time was right. He’s done a good job and we appreciate everything he’s done. He actually coached a younger brother of mine.”

Even though NHS needing a football coach is big news, Thompson said the job will be treated like any other job. It will be open to all applicants.

The search committee will include Thompson, system superintendent Joseph Siano, assistant superintendent Pat Nolen, Chesley and NHS athletic director Trey Selmon.

NHS offensive backfield coach B.W. Trenary intends to apply for the job, as does defensive coordinator Kevin Ball.

There is no history indicating the committee will look favorably or not upon a current assistant. In the past, NHS has gone both ways.

Mike Simmons replaced Gene Corrotto, coming in from Ada; Ervin Roley was already on staff when he replaced Simmons; Cotton Wade arrived from Durant to replace Roley; Peters worked with Simmons, Roley and Wade before ascending to head coach.

David Gore, who once held Thompson’s job, was on the last committee that hired a football coach. It was Peters.

“I worked with Butch for many, many years and he was a major contributor to the program,” Gore said.

Gore, now retired, knew Peters had been hinting at retiring. When he heard the news, he wasn’t surprised.

“To be honest, I knew this was something he had been considering,” Gore said. “I was very, very confident in Butch when he was hired. When hiring someone, the things I look for are commitment, knowledge, integrity and professionalism. Butch was strong in all four categories.”

That might be a guide for the committee charged with hiring Peters’ successor, which will undoubtedly have many applications to sort through.

“They will gauge the interest and select the right fit, not just as a coach, but as a teacher. The right fit is the key phrase,” Gore said. “Clearly, there will be a lot of interest in this job. It’s a good solid job.”

Scott Moore


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