Oakes returns to Viking Stadium, this time as coach

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2001

[08/03/01] Brian Oakes was part of a state championship team at Hinds Community College and a national championship team at Delta State. Now he wants to try for a state championship in high school.

“I’m just as fired up about trying to win a state championship as I was going for a national championship last year,” said Oakes, who replaced Sean Brewer as offensive line coach at his alma mater, Warren Central.

Like Brewer, who left WC to be head coach and athletic director at Yazoo County, Oakes played for Vikings’ head coach Robert Morgan and assistants Curtis Brewer, Larry Tyrone, Rick Graham and Morris Johnson.

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“I’m the sixth varsity guy, and they’ve all got their 25 years in,” said Oakes, 26, who was just a baby when his colleagues started coaching the Vikings. “It’s neat to be able to work with the guys that taught me. Now that I’m one of them, I can learn some of the tricks of the trade.”

Corey Wilson, who was a graduate assistant with Oakes at Delta State last year, will coach at Warren Junior and Buddy Wooten will move up to help the eighth-grade team. Jeff Wood, who was a graduate assistant at North Alabama, will replace Randy Broome on the varsity staff. Broome replaced Sam Temple as head baseball coach. Wood will be Broome’s assistant.

“We lost some good coaches, and that’s a compliment to us, and we got in some new good coaches, and that’s a compliment to us, too,” Morgan said.

Oakes said that he had intended to continue coaching on the college level, but then he decided going back to high school on the Class 5A level would be a good move. He interviewed at Wayne County in April.

A few days after the interview, Morgan called Oakes and told him about the opening at WC.

“It really took me by surprise,” Oakes said. “He caught my attention. I decided Vicksburg was a good place to come back and start a family.”

The Vikings host Wayne County in the season-opening Red Carpet Bowl Classic on Aug. 31.

Getting to work for Morgan was too good of an opportunity for Oakes to pass up.

“He’s a great guy,” Oakes said, adding that he and Morgan stayed in touch while he was at DSU. “I’m happy to work for a man of his caliber.”

Oakes, a 1993 WC graduate, was a lineman on a Vikings’ team that finished 10-3 to help set the stage for the success of 1993 and 1994. WC made it to the 5A state championship game both of those years, winning it in ’94. Oakes won a state title that year at Hinds.

After doing his practicing teaching and coaching at Hattiesburg, Oakes was a graduate assistant offensive line coach at Delta State, which beat Bloomsburg (Pa.), 63-34, for the division II national title.

With plenty of talented players returning, Oakes said it was difficult not going back to DSU.

“It was not tough to leave, financially,” he added with a laugh. “It would have been nice to see how they did after winning it … but I’m glad to be here.”

Morgan is glad to have him.

“He’s got a lot of character and he comes from a fine, Christian family,” Morgan said. “He’s the kind of guy we want in a leadership role.”