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Mize Learned From Four Coaches To Prepare For Head Coach Job


Tecumseh High School has a brand-new head baseball coach with a very familiar face and he’s already hit the ground running.

After seven years as a Savage assistant coach, Roger Mize is now the head coach. Mize takes the place of Jeff Shafer, who resigned at the end of the year as the baseball coach. Shafer will remain the Tecumseh Athletic Director.

Mize is a local Pott County boy who grew up in and graduated from Earlsboro. He grew up playing and loving baseball and is happy to get his first head coaching job in the same county he was raised in. Before coming to Tecumseh as an assistant to then head baseball coach Chad Trahan, he spent from 2003 to 2009 working in the Shawnee program.

Mize knew that he wanted to apply for the job as soon as he knew it would be open. “Jeff (Shafer) told me after Regionals that he was probably going to resign and then about a week later he told me that he wanted to go be a dad and was resigning as baseball coach. When he told me, I knew I was going to apply.

“I talked to Jeff and he told me that they would hire the best person for the position and that I was on my own to get the job and I knew that was true,” said Mize. “I turned in my resume about two or three days after school was out and had my first interview on May 29. About two weeks after the first interview I was given a second interview and offered the job at that time. Of course, it all had to be approved by the school board.

“I didn’t have to think about it,” Mize said. “My wife and I had already talked about it before and I said let’s give it a shot and accepted the job that night. My kids are in school here and we love it here and we felt like it was the right time to be a head coach.

“I had been offered a head coaching job before at another school, but it didn’t feel like it was the right time then. I knew if the situation was right that I wanted to be a head coach and I thought this was a great opportunity at the right time.”

When asked about his coaching experience and his philosophy, Mize said that different aspects of his philosophy have been gleaned from different coaches that he has worked for. “I had the pleasure of working with four coaches, Jeff Shafer, Todd Boyer (former Shawnee head coach), Chad Trahan (former Tecumseh head coach and current Lady Savage fast pitch head coach), and Ty Bullock (Savage head football coach).” He credits these coaches with helping mold his philosophy as a coach and preparing him for this opportunity.

“From Jeff I learned work ethic — to work hard every day. I learned patience from Todd. From Chad, I learned that sometimes you just take a step back and let a kid be a kid and to just be yourself. Being around Coach Bullock I learned the importance of the family aspect of your staff and their families, to keep family a big part of the program.

“My coaching philosophy is really just hard work, dedication and out preparing the opponent and let the kids be themselves,” Mize said. “Any time you out work your opponent and let the kids have fun playing baseball, you can be successful.”

As far as his focus on the diamond, Mize likes defense. “I’m a defensive minded guy. If we can play good defense and have good pitching, we’re going to have a good day. I also like to play small ball and put pressure on the other team’s defense.”

Mize took over the team for the summer league and the squad had a lot of success in June. “Our motto this summer was ‘no risk it, no biscuit’ from Bruce Arians.” Arians is a longtime NFL coach who says if you don’t try great shots, you won’t hit one.

The Savages were 15-8 during the summer league and had a 10-game winning streak during the season. Tecumseh was in three tournaments and made the championship game in all of them. Two of the finals were rained out and they lost to Byng in the other.

Mize has experience returning on the squad with eight seniors coming back for next year and everyone on the team, except for two players, stayed during the summer. “The strength of our team, according to this summer, will be our defense and pitching,” said Mize. “Our defensive errors went way down this summer and we have good pitching coming back.

“I’m very excited with the chance the school has given me and the trust the administration has in me. I heard there were several candidates that applied for the job and I don’t believe the job was just given to me. I think my hard work here and at Shawnee proved what I was capable of doing.

“When Chad called me a few years ago to be his assistant, I said yes right away. Then he asked me if I needed to talk to my wife about it and I said no, I felt good about It, and it has definitely worked out. I feel like that since I’ve been with Jeff he has groomed me and trained me to be ready to be in this position.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to be a head coach at a great school with great support. I would really like to thank Mr. Wilsie, Mr. Kinsey and Coach Shafer trusting me and giving me this opportunity.”

Coach Mize’s team at home includes his wife of nine years, Tandi, and four children. Mason is six, Checotah is three, Alley is two and Amelia is one.


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