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Josh Norman stands in the SaberCats’ weight room at Southmoore High School on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.

Josh Norman stands in the SaberCats’ weight room at Southmoore High School on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.

Josh Norman has been fired as Southmoore’s football coach, Norman confirmed to The Transcript on Tuesday.

Norman was notified that he’d been fired during a meeting with Moore Public Schools officials Monday morning, he said. While Norman has been relieved of his coaching duties, an MPS spokesperson said Norman remains an employee of the district as a careers teacher.

The former University of Oklahoma football player was hired by Southmoore prior to the 2020 season and spent two years as the SaberCats coach, finishing with a 3-18 record.

“It was a shock to me,” Norman told The Transcript. “It was just kind of disappointing to me to know they were willing to call it quits this soon.”

The team showed progress in Norman’s first season, finishing in fourth place in District 6AI-II with a 3-7 record before losing to Westmoore in the playoffs. But the SaberCats struggled this season, and the team finished with an 0-10 record.

Southmoore won four games combined in the two seasons prior to Norman’s hire.

After last Friday’s 53-0 loss to Norman North, MPS officials told Norman they wanted the program to go in a different direction, Norman said.

“They don’t like the direction the program is going in,” Norman said. “They think I lost the support of the kids, they think I lost the support of parents and they think I lost the support of my staff. From my point of view … I see it completely different, and I wholeheartedly disagree.”

Norman said he informed his staff and players on Monday that he was fired.

“I said it from day one that our mission is to win championships while building young men of high character who serve and positively influence the community,” Norman said. “And I feel like we laid a great foundation for doing that and we’ve impacted so many of these kids’ lives.”

Norman played tight end at OU from 1999-2001, and was a key player on the Sooners’ national championship team in 2000, catching 34 passes for 518 yards that season.

Prior to landing at Southmoore, Norman coached four seasons at Community Christian and two as head coach.

Jesse Crittenden is the sports editor of The Transcript and covers OU athletics. Reach him at jesse@normantranscript.com or at 405-366-3580

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