Pearson informs Putnam City he won’t return
WARR ACRES — Putnam City football coach Preston Pearson preaches family first to his players and it’s his time to prove he means it.
Pearson informed his players Wednesday afternoon that he will not return next season. He will move back to the Tulsa area to help care for his ailing mom and mother-in-law.
He has no job lined up. He just feels it’s time to focus elsewhere.
“I was putting me being the head football coach a little in front of my family,” Pearson told The Oklahoman. “One thing we’ve preached is I’ve told them it’s harder to be a man than the man and I’ve really enjoyed being the man. Now I’ve got to try to bow up and be a man and help my wife and family.”
Pearson has been the guiding force in turning around Putnam City in just three seasons.
The Pirates went 16-16 and made the playoffs in 2015 and 2017.
They had not been in the postseason since 2008 when he was hired in 2015 after eight seasons as Tulsa Union’s offensive coordinator.
At the time of his hire, Pearson inherited a roster with just 36 players. After going 7-4 last season, the program returns more than 90 players on the roster.
“It’s a sad day for us,” Putnam City Schools athletic director Dick Balenseifen said. “He did a tremendous job. He helped several of our studentathletes obtain college scholarships and essentially turned the program around and put it on a good foundation.”
Now Pearson wants to restore his family.
For the past eight months, Pearson’s wife, Lana, lived in Tulsa tending to her mom and mother-in-law. She drove to Putnam City on the weekends to see Pearson coach and see her son Kyler play.
“She just needs help,” Pearson said. “To be honest, I’ve been selfish. I probably should have went in the summer and helped. My selfishness wanting to be the head guy and I knew we were going to be good. I wanted to stay and see the fruits of our labor, so to speak. I probably put our team ahead of my family and I probably shouldn’t have done that.
“I told the kids today I was sorry. I’m trying to show the kids I practice what I preach.”