Mike Stokes to be assistant coach at GF
The Green Forest school board hired Mike Stokes to assist with the football team along with the boys basketball team on Monday, June 18. Stokes has coached at a number of schools throughout his career, but was most recently the principal at Harrison middle school for 12 years. Stokes had retired for a year before deciding to get back into coaching.
"After retiring last year, I felt like getting back into coaching," Stokes said. "Coach Bishop, Mr. (Terry) Darnell and Dr. (Matt) Summers have given me an opportunity to get back into it. I couldn't be happier. Green Forest feels like a great place for me."
Stokes has some Green Forest connections, such as former Tiger athletic director Jay Martin and Darnell, who used to work at Harrison. Stokes said he has missed coaching.
"The camaraderie of the coaching and teaching staff is great," Stokes said. "Being able to teach the kids and work with the kids is well worth the hard work and energy we put into our job."
Stokes hasn't been able to meet any of the students yet, but he has met some of the coaches.
"I went down to the coaches clinic last week and spent some time with coach (Brandon) Stone and coach (Jonathan) Bryant," Stokes said. "I got to meet the girls basketball coach and junior high football coach as well. We attended most of the meetings together and they seem like great guys."
Green Forest athletic director Bobby Bishop is excited about the hiring of Stokes.
"He has been in the business for a long time," Bishop said. "He had retired at Harrison as the middle school principal. He had been out a year and decided he wanted to coach again, so we hired him."
Stokes is looking forward to teaching the players what he has learned throughout the years.
"You always have an opportunity to learn, especially from kids," Stokes said. "I look forward to working with the kids in a coach-athlete relationship. That is different from being a principal. This is more hands-on, so to speak. You deal with them more directly and I have always enjoyed the relationship you form with the coaches, but especially the relationship with the kids."
Stokes is also looking forward to becoming integrated into the Green Forest community.
"Not only am I excited to work with the kids and coaches, but I'm looking forward to meeting the teachers and getting to know the community and people of Green Forest," Stokes said. "I think it's going to be a great experience."
Green Forest continues to search for a coach to lead the boys basketball team.