GORE, OKLA. (KFSM)-- After spending 12 years as the head coach at Vian (and racking up 128 wins), Brandon Tyler was ready for the next step in his career. In 2016 he took a job as an assistant at Van Buren, with his eye on moving up the coaching ranks at bigger schools. But after one season with the Pointers, he got an offer that would change his path.
"(Gore) came about during the spring, this is my alma mater, graduated school here in 1991, and when it came about I decided to come over here and get it turned around."
Coach Tyler couldn't pass up the opportunity to return to his roots. Even more important to him was the chance to restore the program to some of its former glory. He played in some of the most successful seasons in program history, when the team made it as far as Thanksgiving weekend.
"We're just trying to get a new tradition going here, to get to do that on a yearly basis."
Coach Tyler has installed an entirely new defense, and the offense has gone through a bit of an overhaul as well. The players have taken quickly to his style.
"Last year it didn’t feel like they were having fun, and Coach Tyler makes practice fun," says senior quarterback Wesley Brown. "People aren’t as lazy, they actually want to win."
Coach Tyler wants to improve the on field play, and along with that, bring back some of the community pride in Gore.
"We have a sense of pride in the program, and lately that's fallen off in the last few years. We're trying to restore that pride that was once here at one time."
Wide receiver and free safety Cordell Coburn says the team has faith in their coach.
"It brings up your confidence a lot, on what he can do to change the team, from going 0-10 or 3-7, taking us from what we used to be to ten times better."
And beyond wins, the senior has a legacy he wants to leave behind.
"(To) put Gore on the map again."
That would certainly prove to Coach Tyler that he made the right choice by coming home.