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Division II head coach leaves for high school job

Division II head coaches don't ordinarily leave on their own volition for high school jobs. But Josh Blankenship's departure from Adams State is not ordinary.

Blankenship left the D-II job in Colorado to become the head coach at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.

The 39-year-old is the son of the legendary Oklahoma high school coach Bill Blankenship, who went 154-26 with three state titles at Tulsa Union. Blankenship was the head coach at Tulsa for four years, going 24-27 from 2011-14. He then, in 2016, won a Class 7A Arkansas state championship at Fayetteville, and in 2017 led Owasso to the Class 6A Division I state title over his former school Tulsa Union, making Owasso the first team since 1995 other than Union or Jenks to win the state title at Oklahoma's highest level.

The younger Blankenship played quarterback at Tulsa Union, Tulsa and later Eastern Washington. He entered coaching at in the Oklahoma high school ranks, eventually becoming the head coach at Muskogee, before leaving to become Tulsa's quarterbacks coach in 2014.

He then became Adams State's offensive coordinator in 2015, and was promoted to head coach ahead of the 2018 season. After compiling an 8-14 mark in two seasons, Blankenship is returning to the Motherland at Broken Arrow, a suburb to the southeast of Tulsa.

Broken Arrow is infamously known as the school that fired head coach David Alexander two years after leading his alma mater to its only state championship. Broken Arrow reached the state semifinals in 2019 and the quarters in 2020.

“I didn’t win a state championship in (two) years and that’s the nature of the beast in this business,” Alexander said after the firing. “You’ve gotta go win.”

At Broken Arrow, Blankenship will have to coach against Tulsa Union, his alma mater, and Owasso, his father's team.

“This blows me away. The size of the job — I’m fully aware," Blankenship told the Tulsa World. "The magnitude of the job — I’m fully aware. I’m so excited that my family gets to come back to the Tulsa area.”