Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 19, 2013

Decision to leave a tough one

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — It was a difficult decision to be sure for Pauls Valley’s head football coach when he chose to return to the place where he got his coaching start.

Only days ago John Inman announced he will be leaving the Panthers program after two seasons and become the new head gridiron coach in Lindsay where he spent several years as an assistant coach.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” Inman said.

“It was a tough decision to leave Lindsay in the first place and that pales in comparison to this decision.”

The decision to leave Pauls Valley and return to Lindsay was a hard one but Inman makes it clear he had to put his family first.

With two young daughters and his wife’s family centered around Lindsay, Inman said these were the key factors in his decision to return to Lindsay.

Add to that Inman spent a decade in Lindsay as an assistant football coach before he came to Pauls Valley nearly two years ago.

“I’m very happy and satisfied with my job here, but with Lindsay we’re moving back to family,” he said. “That support system and closeness is something you need, especially with young children.”

Inman is referring to his two daughters, who are now 6 and 3 years old.

“I’ve talked with my kids and told them this is not a football decision,” he said.

“I’ve very happy with the program here, the kids, the community. But I spent 10 years over in Lindsay before coming here. It became a second home for me.

“It was the right decision for my family but a tough one.”

During his time as the head coach here the football Panthers finished with 5-6 overall records both seasons.

In both cases the Panthers got off to slow starts but finished strong to earn a place in the playoffs.

“I’m very pleased with both of those seasons,” Inman said. “When we got to the ninth and 10th week of the seasons we were competing for the district championship. Naturally I was happy being in that position.

“Between the two seasons, even though the records don’t show it, I felt we grew up and became a better football team.”

With the growth in the Panthers program Inman believes a good foundation is in place for that next head coach who takes the helm.

“I fully expect that whoever comes in the program will continue to improve.”

Inman will continue his duties as a math teacher and track coach here before leaving at the end of the current school year in May.

The search for Inman’s replacement as football coach is already on as the job has been advertised and applications are expected to come in over the next several days.

PV’s athletic director, Kirk Moore, has said he hopes to begin interviews within the next one to two weeks.