Talby Justus bound for Bartlesville High
Basketball coach Talby Justus has decided to leave the Pawhuska High School boys varsity head coaching job to become head coach of the girls program at Bartlesville High, Pawhuska Superintendent David Cash said the night of April 12.
Cash said he learned of the move earlier that day. He said his phone had been “blowing up” as word spread.
Justus is a former associate head coach of women’s basketball at the University of Texas at Arlington. He left that post to become boys basketball head coach and co-athletic director at Pawhuska High.
Justus' 2020-21 PHS Huskies finished 14-5 and made an area tournament appearance. Justus replaced Jake Christenson, whose 2019-20 team went 19-10 and made an area tournament appearance.
Pawhuska will now be looking for a boys basketball head coach.
Justus said he enjoyed his year as head coach of the boys program at Pawhuska High and wished the season had lasted longer.
"I cannot say enough about the young men that are here," Justus said of his players. "I had a great experience with coaching them. It was a very short basketball season but one that I will remember for a long time."
Justus said it had been his desire for the Huskies to qualify for the state tournament.
Bartlesville is a 6A school, and Justus said that will give him opportunities to use his gifts as a coach more completely.
"At a 6A high school, I'll have more time to develop basketball players," he said. "I believe it is my gift, and it gives me the chance to use my gift more completely."
He is also looking forward to the opportunity to coach a daughter of his, who will be in the Bartlesville girls program.
Justus said his wife, Lori, intends to continue as principal of Pawhuska High School. The Pawhuska Board of Education has voted to extend her employment in that capacity.
When the Pawhuska board voted April 16 to approve Talby Justus' resignation, Cash described him as a good man, whom he wishes nothing but the best.
"It's sad to lose him," Cash said.