Pond Creek-Hunter’s David Kerr – Enid Area Coach of the Month Presented by Rick’s Pharmacy

By John Tranchina

As head football coach at Pond Creek-Hunter High School, David Kerr has enjoyed his share of success, building the program to where it is a regular contender almost every year for a state championship.

Last season, the Panthers went 11-2 and advanced to the Class C state semi-finals before falling 50-28 to eventual champion Tipton. During the course of Kerr’s tenure, which enters its 21st season in 2019 (23rd if you count the first two years he spent as an assistant), he has led Pond Creek-Hunter to six state championship finals, winning the gold ball twice (2001 and 2002).

He believes this season offers another strong opportunity for his Panthers to be in the mix for a title yet again.

“We’ve got a lot of people back, we only lost a few starters, so our expectations are pretty high,” Kerr said. “Of course, being a small school, depth will be an issue for us, but I think if we can stay healthy, we can make a good run at it again, maybe. We really feel like we got something to prove this year, for sure.”

Kerr admitted that some of those losses in the finals over the years stick with him almost more than the glory of the times they won the state championship.

“Obviously, if you’re any kind of competitor at all, that’s what you strive for, to win championships, and we’ve been lucky enough to be in those positions, winning a couple, but on the opposite side of that, we’ve also been beat four times in the finals,” said Kerr, who also won multiple state championships as a player at Morrison High School during their late ‘80s-early ‘90s dynasty that produced seven straight state titles and nine in 11 years from 1984-94. “There’s a few games that you kind of remember in your coaching career that you really look back on. Even though when you sit back and look at it, we were very successful and had a great year, losing in the finals – it was pretty bittersweet, especially when you think you’re as good. A couple of times, we got beat by a better team, but I think there were a couple of games that we had a chance to win and we didn’t.”

One thing that has helped the Pond Creek-Hunter football program maintain its consistency and success over Kerr’s tenure is that he is in charge of all levels of football in the school system, starting with the fifth and sixth grade team, as well as the junior high squad. He coaches the players all the way from fifth through 12th grade, and that continuity establishes a foundation for the team’s playing style and expectations for all players.

“It can be a little stressful during football season, for sure, but I enjoy it, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it,” said Kerr, who also coaches Pond Creek-Hunter’s girls slow-pitch softball team in the spring. “I get to have those kids, hopefully, from fifth grade until their senior year, so at least there’s some consistency in the program and they know what to expect from me, and I kind of know what to expect from them by the time they get to high school.”

And of course, like most high school coaches, Kerr is also a teacher.

“Right now, I am actually teaching in our middle school, I teach social studies,” he said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve taught everything from fifth grade history to senior government, so in my years here, I’ve ran the full spectrum of the social studies and history department. And the last three or four years, I’ve been teaching in our middle school.”

It’s all about the rapport he develops with the kids that keeps Kerr involved in coaching.

“Growing up, we were successful at my high school and my football coach was a big influence in my life, and going to school, I kind of wanted to stay with something in athletics and I just kind of fell into the coaching thing,” he said. “And what keeps me in it, I like building a relationship with the kids and try to be a positive influence in their lives.”