The allure of being closer to home is real and that helped Will Jones land the coach he thinks will get Garber football and baseball back on the map.
Garber’s board of education Friday afternoon unanimously approved Blake Lamle as the school’s head football and baseball coach.
Lamle spent the last five years at Shattuck, including the last two as head coach.
The Indians were 25-3 during those two years and won the Class B state championship in 2017 while finishing as runners-up in 2016.
He was the offensive coordinator on the Indians’ 2015 title team.
Despite the success, Lamle is headed east.
“This just gets us closer to my family,” said Lamle, a Medford native whose parents still live there. He also has immediate family in Kremlin and Enid. “Plus Garber is a proud program with a good tradition.
“It was just a good fit for us when it came open.”
Jones is the school district’s superintendent and boys basketball coach. When Lamle showed interest, Jones jumped at the opportunity.
“I’m extremely excited to have Blake and his wife here. They’re going to be a great addition to Garber Public Schools,” Jones said, noting Garber also hired Crystal Lamle to serve as the school counselor and co-IT director.
“We feel hiring Blake is a big deal for us and it also speaks to what Garber Public Schools is for us to be able to get him here,” Jones continued. “This is a place that’s had success in the past and is striving to get back to that level. This hire is one step closer to that.”
Garber owns four state championships and 19 district titles. The Wolverines won back-to-back crowns in 2008 and 2009 under longtime coach Mark Harmon, but haven’t won state or district crowns since.
The Wolverines were 2-9 in 2017 under Mark Boyd and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Laverne, the team Shattuck defeated for the state title.
Shattuck owns 10 football championships, nine of them since 2003 when either Troy or Tyson Bullard was the head coach (with the exception of 2017 under Lamle).
“It was very tough to leave. They’ve got really good kids in Shattuck and not just in athletics,” Lamle said. “The way Troy and Tyson have run that program speaks for itself. And for them to bring me in and let me learn from them was incredible.
“It was definitely a very tough decision to leave that.”
Lamle also takes over a baseball program that went 11-18 last year under Gerald Parker who left Garber for the same position at Chisholm after Kyle Jech resigned.
“We’ve got a couple of things to finish up in Shattuck,” Lamle said. “But I met with the Garber kids today. Once we finish those things up there, we’ll hit the ground running in Garber.”