A look back at Mill­wood’s 13 state cham­pi­onship teams un­der coach Var­ryl Franklin.

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS - ADAM KEMP, STAFF WRITER

Name: Var­ryl Franklin Age: 66 Res­i­dence: Ok­la­homa City Var­ryl “Chop” Franklin has coached at Mill­wood since 1973, lead­ing the boys bas­ket­ball team to 13 state cham­pi­onships and more than 675 ca­reer wins. Af­ter 45 years as a coach and teacher, in­clud­ing 40 years as the head coach of the boys bas­ket­ball team, Franklin has de­cided to re­tire. Now is the right time to re­tire be­cause I feel ready. It’s got­ten harder to get up in the morn­ings and I’m just tired of go­ing 24/7 and deal­ing with all the pres­sures of go­ing on in coach­ing and ed­u­ca­tion. The amount of prep that goes into prac­tices and and classes and preps. I think it’s just time to kick back and re­lax and en­joy the things that I’ve al­ways wanted to. The pro­gram is in the right place and the tal­ent level is there. Ev­ery­one is ca­pa­ble. I haven’t re­ally set down to think of all the mem­o­ries. Ev­ery year al­ways brought a dif­fer­ent story and re­ally great mo­ments, but I haven’t re­ally had time to think about it be­cause we are still pre­par­ing and play­ing games and try­ing to get bet­ter. I’m sure some­day soon I’ll be able to sit down and just think about all the won­der­ful mem­o­ries I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced but for now I’m still pretty fo­cused on the last few games. See­ing every­body back is a bless­ing. I’ve coached and taught so many won­der­ful peo­ple and I think it’s over­whelm­ing to a cer­tain de­gree to think about see­ing them all again. But I just want to fo­cus on the end here and af­ter the smoke has cleared I’m sure I’ll just con­tinue to feel blessed. I’m not wor­ried about leav­ing be­hind a legacy be­cause the kids I am around ev­ery­day are what’s im­por­tant. Ath­let­ics is an ex­cel­lent tool to help teach young peo­ple. I hope that I’ve done my part in help­ing teach young peo­ple life skills to make their lives bet­ter.

[PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Mill­wood coach Var­ryl Franklin, mid­dle, is sur­rounded by fam­ily, friends and stu­dents along with his state ti­tle and run­ner-up tro­phies at half­time of Fri­day’s game at Franklin-Spears Gym­na­sium.

[PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Mill­wood boys bas­ket­ball coach Var­ryl Franklin has led his teams to 13 state ti­tles in 40 sea­sons, the most in Ok­la­homa prep his­tory.

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