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Ron Arthur steps down as Shawnee boys' head basketball coach; staying as assistant A.D.

Brian Johnson bjohnson@news-star.com

    Shawnee Public Schools Director of Athletics Todd Boyer has announced that Ron Arthur has stepped down as boys' head basketball coach, it was announced Friday.

    Arthur will remain as assistant athletic director, a position he has held for the last five years.

    “We appreciate the past 16 years that Coach Arthur has led the Wolves' basketball program,” said Boyer. “He did an outstanding job of creating a team culture while teaching the fundamentals of basketball. We look forward to his continued contributions as assistant activities-athletics director for Shawnee Public Schools.”

    Shawnee Public Schools has already posted the boys' head basketball coaching position and some candidates have been contacted, according to Boyer.

    Arthur guided the Wolves to the 2020 Class 5A State Tournament, which wasn't played due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, his squad earned a Class 5A area runner-up title and finished with a sparkling 21-6 record and a third-place finish in perhaps the best 5A league in the state - the Suburban Conference.

    “The hardest part of this year was at the end of the varsity season, telling the guys that we weren't going to get to play for the Gold Ball,” said Arthur. “This (announcement of the resignation to his players) was even tougher because this was such a close-knit group.”

    It is believed that Arthur is the second-longest tenured boys' head basketball coach at Shawnee behind Bob Banfield, who held the position for 17 years.

    Arthur is about to finish his master's degree in athletic administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

    “This way it gives me focus in all aspects of the athletic department. My goal is to be on the college end of things and be an assistant A.D.,” Arthur said. “This will allow me to help Todd more and focus in on more activities like fundraising, retention numbers and just be more supportive. I just think it was the time (to resign).”

    Arthur says he will cherish the memories, but at least he won't be far away.

    “I think the best memories have been the relationships I had with the players and coaches and the competition against really good coaches. I've had 27 years in the coaching profession,” said Arthur. “It's always great seeing parents of former players and former players. I've had so many relationships that have not just been good, but great. There have been so many who have reached out to our program over the years and provided help. It's what community is all about.”

    He looks forward to having another perspective on the game of basketball next season.

    “Everybody tells me when I get out of coaching, I'm going to enjoy sitting in the stands, eating popcorn and watching other coaches sweat it out,” Arthur joked.

    Arthur led four teams to the state tournament during his 16-year run.