By Mike Tupa


mtupa@examiner-enterprise.com


New Dewey High School head baseball coach Geoff Beaty is not exactly a stranger to Washington County.


Approximately a decade ago, he resided on the coaching staff of Bartlesville High football when Ron Smith was in charge.


He also spent the past year of tutelage at Dewey High as an assistant football and baseball coach.


After last year’s Doggers’ baseball skipper Colby O’Donnell resigned, Beaty was handed the steering wheel to guide the program.


“I was happy to take it,” Beaty said. “I’ve been mowing the fields, dragging and watering.”


And, he’s been getting his team ready through summer league games.


“I have 32 kids playing for us,” he noted. “We’ve had 16 freshmen. … It’s been great getting the young kids at-bats. … It’s been very nice to have lots of kids playing.”


Beaty is a product of the rugged hills and open-spaces beauty of Wyoming — Evanston, to be exact.


He arrived in Oklahoma to compete for Phillips University (Enid) and then finished up his schooling at Oklahoma State.


After leaving Cowboyland, Beaty landed his first job — coaching baseball and football — in Independence, Kan.


A few years later, Smith brought him into the football coaching family at Bartlesville.


From there, Beaty worked the next eight years for the Tulsa Drillers — serving as the ticket director during the end of that stint.


He coached football and track at Kellyville and then moved to Dewey when head football coach Tyler Caid hired him as an assistant.


Beaty said he relocated to Dewey to be closer to family, including his parents in Ponca City.


He recalled that after he interviewed for the football position he took off for Ponca City and before he arrived there Caid called him and offered him the job.


He saw one very familiar face on the Dewey grid stat in Bobby Holmes, who also had been a Bruin football coach during the Smith regime.


Beaty also spent last winter as an assistant boys basketball coach for head coach Lance Knight.


“I had never coached basketball,” Beaty noted.


Fittingly, Beaty’s promotion to head baseball skipper opens up an assistant basketball coach’s slot for Michael Sanders, who had been a co-baseball assistant last season with Beaty.


That’s not where the coincidences end.


Several years ago, Beaty worked as a coach at the Mickey Owen Baseball School in Missouri — and both Caid and O’Donnell attended as players.


“It’s funny,” Beaty said, noting he’s not that much older than his two Dewey coaching colleagues. “It’s probably a very small world.”


Beaty has the advantage of already knowing the Dogger veterans as he takes charge.


Bryce Weathers and Hayden Wood are both playing American Legion baseball and Gunner Bankston is still rehabilitating from an arm injury, Beaty noted about three key returnees for next year.


But, he’s still seen plenty of good things in summer baseball.


During a competition last week against Chelsea, sophomore-to-be Corbin Buford — who started varsity as a freshman — threw well.


The Dewey frosh summer team — consisting primarily of eighth-graders this past school year — took on the Caney Valley varsity.


Although Caney Valley was in control, he appreciated the effort his freshmen put forth.


Beaty also remains grateful for the year spent with O’Donnell, who guided Dewey to a 10-game winning streak and 15-14 record.


“He is a great coach,” Beaty said. “The kids responded well to him. I plan to do the same things, be aggressive on the basepaths, hit and run, hustle on and off the field and be grinders. We want to outwork you. It will be an easy transition.”


O’Donnell coached just one season at Dewey.