MUSKOGEE — Trevor Rubly played defense back at Central Missouri State. He coached defensive backs at Cisco Junior College. He worked with the defensive line and linebackers at Missouri.
“I guess you could say defense is my forte,” said Rubly, head football coach at Bacone College. “I know the defense can't win without the offense scoring, and I've had to ask our offensive guys to be patient with me. There were times where they felt they needed some love this season. But I am a defense guy.”
Rubly is The Oklahoman's State College All-Star Team Coach of the Year. He guided Bacone to a 7-3 record, one of the best seasons in the program's brief history.
The Warriors ripped off a six-game win streak, which included three shutouts. They surrendered just 26 points during a run that helped Bacone recover from a sluggish 1-2 start to the season.
Central Oklahoma running back Joshua Birmingham is the Offensive Player of the Year. East Central defensive end Armonty Bryant is the Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
Rubly is being honored for the first time, and he's only been Bacone's head coach for two seasons. The Warriors were 5-6 in 2011, which was kind of a Tilt-a-Whirl season for the team in the first place. Rubly, who had been serving as the NAIA school's defensive coordinator, was quickly elevated to head coach when it was announced Lloyd Spotted Wolf would not return. Bacone was 3-8 in 2010.
“I came here to be a defensive coordinator with the idea of working my way to someday becoming a head coach,” Rubly said. “I'm grateful to get this job, although it was kind of a last-minute deal.”
Rubly remains the Warriors' defensive coordinator, although the head coaching job requires more responsibilities. So far, he's made it work. Aside from having the best record among Oklahoma's four-year, small-college football teams, Bacone was ranked No. 23 at one point this season. It was the first time the program cracked the NAIA's top-25 poll.
“We got off to a slow start, but after a couple of knocks early on, we got on the right road,” Rubly said. “We really got better toward the end. We hope to continue that next season. We are holding some high expectations now.”