The championship pedigree runs deep at Carl Albert High School
MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KOKH) —
The expectations at Carl Albert are to win. It’s been that way for a long time.
The Titans won their 12th state title overall last season, and their 10th under Gary Rose, who retired in January after 22 years at the helm. That winning culture has Rose’s hand prints everywhere. But he’s not the only legend who’s impact has been felt on this program for years: meet 73-year-old Tex Rollins.
“Before I came, and it’s not me,” Rollins said. “I was just in a good spot at the right time, Carl Albert hadn’t won anything. They’d win 10 games and get beat in the first round of the playoffs.”
Rollins is a former assistant football coach. He arrived at Carl Albert back in 1988.
“We’ve just had some great kids, some great coaches come through. Any kid who’s been at Carl Albert the last 20 years, if you started playing football when you were a freshman, you got a ring before you graduated.”
Rollins got used to winning fast. He won two state championships before the arrival of Rose, including his first in 1989 and then nine more with him.
“Kids are used to winning here. Their parents will bring them to Carl Albert because they know they’re going to be treated right but they’re going to be disciplined. And if you don’t want to do it the way we do it here, then don’t come,” Rollins said.
Rollins is a big endorser of first year head Coach Mike Corley, who got promoted from defensive coordinator. He has the Titans off to a 3-0 start this season.
“What would it have looked like if we brought someone else in and had given them the job? And he’s more than capable, as you can see, by these first three games. On top of that, he’s a good guy," Rollins said.
Rollins, who teaches world history, stopped coaching football after the 2015 season. He remains the head track and field coach, where he’s won two state championships. But as far as football goes, Rollins is still closely tied to this team.
“You always see him at the games, taking pictures,” said Titans defensive tackle/right guard Karson Wagner. “He has nicknames for everybody.”
Carl Albert safety/wide receiver Zane Alexander has had Rollins as both a teacher and a coach.
“Get in trouble in class, come out here, and have to run for it," Alexander said.
Rollins' old school mentality has rubbed off on not just the players, but coaches too.
“I don’t know if you can put into words what he’s meant to this program, to us, to me as a coach,” Corley said. “The discipline he brings, it doesn’t matter who you are. He’s always been that way since I first met him. It doesn’t matter if you’re a coach or not, he’s going to get on to you. He’s going to expect perfection.”
Carl Albert (3-0) travels to Guthrie (1-2) Friday night for a 7:00 PM kickoff.