Sports Editor

Superman has returned, and so has Lance West.

And they’re both flying high.

Superman is back doing what he does best, seeking truth, justice and the American way.

Lance West is back doing what he does best, seeking wins, justice and the athletic way.

Superman is back at the Daily Planet, and Lance West is back in the daily world of athletics.

Lance West is settling in to his new position as director of athletics at Sequoyah High School. He has been gone from the athletic scene for some five years, about as long as Superman had been missing from Metropolis.

Now, West has returned with an energy and enthusiasm that can only be described as “super.” No amount of Kryptonite can cripple his enthusiasm now that he is back in the business of high school athletics.

“I am excited,” he was saying the other day as he sat behind a crowded desk in a summer-empty wing of a junior high classroom building on the campus of Sequoyah.

He assumed command of the Sequoyah Eagles’ athletics department about a month ago, when Jody Iams stepped aside to focus on his role as football coach.

Iams should have one of the top two or three teams in the state in Class 3A, especially with the talent he has returning from an 11-2 playoff team.

West was a successful football coach himself, guiding Collinsville for seven years before resigning following an 11-2 season in 2000.

He left education altogether, trying his hand at the insurance game.

That decision lasted about a year or so, and when a friend contacted him about a school administration job, West accepted faster than a speeding bullet.

His return to education, as a principal at Justus-Tiawah School, was just what he needed.

Two years ago, he fielded another call. Sequoyah wanted him for the Upper Elementary School principal position.

West accepted.

When Iams stepped down as athletic director this year, West again was approached.

Although he had not been involved in athletics for five years, West did have long-standing, far-reaching athletic experience. Additionally, he had worked with budgets, parents, personnel.

It was, he said, “the perfect fit.”

West is passionate about Sequoyah.

Sequoyah is passionate about West.

“The school has a commitment to athletics, like they do everything else,” he said.

“I have never been at a district that had the community support that we have here. The community relationship with the school has been outstanding.

“Our facilities are really nice, and getting better all the time. I love the way the school takes pride in the whole campus,” he said.

“Now that I’ve done it, come back to athletics, I’m really glad that I did. It’s been a good thing.”

“As director of athletics, overseeing a high school program that embraces a dozen sports, West will assume roles that are as varied as mentor and sounding board, cheerleader and visionary.

At the collegiate level, West suggested that an athletic director might be seen as CEO, a chief executive officer of a million-dollar operation.

“On this level, though, the word we’re using a lot is ‘coach of coaches,’” he said.

West likes that description. It fits him.

He coached all the sports available, from football to girls basketball, before calling it quits five years ago.

He coached in the 1999 All-State football game.

He was honored by the Oklahoma chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes earlier this summer as one of a half-dozen “Coaches of the Year.”

Like many coaches, successful coaches, West talks of youngsters as the reason for being in education in the first place.

“If it benefits the kids, I’m excited about it,” he said.

He’s also excited about Sequoyah.

“It’s a great place,” he said. “I’m fired up about it.”

He has a month before classes begin for the fall semester.

He’s working hard now, pulling everything together.

He might not be Superman, but he is not Clark Kent, either.

He is, as he says, a coach of coaches.

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