William Bencoma hired as new Okemah High School boys basketball coach
By Justin Scrimshire
ONL Sports Reporter
In the midst of COVID-19 disrupting business as usual at Okemah Public Schools and forcing teachers and student’s alike to adapt to a distance-learning format, the search has been on for a new high school boy’s basketball coach after Coach Devin Terry announced his resignation earlier in the school year.
That search has concluded with the hiring of William Bencoma. Bencoma is from Weleetka, Oklahoma and coached there for six years before taking the coaching job at Kiefer where he has been for the past three years.
Coach Bencoma led his Class 3-A Kiefer Trojans to a 15-11 record this past season and advanced to regionals before succumbing to a heartbreaking 56-58 loss to Kansas.
Bencoma stated, “ I am excited to come to a competitive basketball program as Okemah. I know they’ve had success in the past and I hope to add to that.”
Joe Turner, Okemah High School Athletic Director expressed relief at the hiring of Coach Bencoma during such an uncertain time. Turner said he has known Coach Bencoma for several years and “we’re very fortunate to have him, he has great character” and also added that he expected Coach Bencoma to continue a winning tradition for the Panthers.
The Panthers experienced quite a bit of success this past season, going 19-8 and winning the district and regional championship before seeing their season end at area. Coach Bencoma looks to take the reins of a squad that will have lots of experience, as only two seniors will be departing this summer.