SAPULPA — Before Loren Montgomery built a football dynasty at Bixby, Pat McGrew presided over a successful Spartan program. During his 11 seasons as the Bixby head coach, McGrew and the Spartans made three championship game appearances.
After McGrew resigned following the 2009, he was out of coaching for several seasons. Having been a driver’s education instructor since the mid-’80s, he established The Coach’s Driving School in 2014.
Ultimately, however, McGrew couldn’t shake the desire to coach football. When his son Tyler coordinated Putnam City’s defense, McGrew was a volunteer consultant for the Pirates. He then accepted an offer to teach science and coach ninth-grade football at Jenks.
This season, the 62-year-old McGrew is a first-year linebackers coach at Sapulpa. Tyler McGrew is the Chieftains’ assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
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Sapulpa head coach Tim Holt Jr. “asked me to come here and it’s been a blast,” Pat McGrew explained.
“(Pat McGrew) told me that he had the itch to coach again, and he really wanted to teach again,” Holt said. “He’s a really good science teacher. When I mentioned it to our administration, they said, ‘Absolutely, yes.’”
When asked about the Bixby community’s growth and the Bixby football program’s run of seven state titles in eight years, McGrew replied, “I’m a Spartan for life. It’s amazing to drive around there, and then to remember what it was like when I first went there in 1985. Comparing the Bixby area then to what it is today — it’s incredible.
“What (Montgomery) has done there — it’s a system.”
While teaching and coaching again on a full-time basis, McGrew also continues as a driving instructor. After a grueling, 97-degree practice on Tuesday, he met with students for driving sessions that lasted until mid-evening.