Most young high school coaches are forced to bide their time as an assistant for a few years until the right opportunity comes along to run their own program.
Chase Littlejohn and Rylie Torrey skipped that prerequisite and have fast tracked their way to the head of the class.
The soon-to-be husband and wife were recently hired as the boys and girls basketball coaches at Class 2A Preston High School.
Chase was an all-state performer at Stilwell and played four seasons at Rogers State before spending this past season as an assistant at Mannford. Rylie won a state title at Locust Grove and played at NOC-Enid, Northeastern State and Oral Roberts before graduating this year.
“It’s pretty much a dream come true,” said Torrey about landing her first coaching job. “I knew I wanted to be a coach. I wasn’t in it to be an assistant coach, but if that’s what it took that’s what I was going to do. Fortunately, it just kind of worked out where we’re both going to start at the same school and be coaches.”
“It’s a blessing,” added Littlejohn. “I’m not worried about being young or inexperienced because I have a lot of mentors that I can count on. The only way to get experience is to get in there and do it.”
Not only are they coaching the same sport at the same school, but they’re also going to be an assistant coach for the other.
“That’s the plan,” stated Torrey, who was named Honorable Mention All-Summit League this past season after averaging nearly 12 points a game for the Golden Eagles. “We talk basketball all the time and we have similar philosophies, but different enough that we can challenge each other if we need to.”
“I’m sure there’s going to be some heated conversations and stuff like that, but it’ll be good,” said Littlejohn with a laugh.
Torrey has enjoyed the upper hand so far when it comes to basketball accomplishments. She’s quick to remind Littlejohn that she won a state title in high school and he didn’t.
“All the time,” remarked Littlejohn. “Basically any time we tell people about our story it always gets brought up.”
Torrey isn’t shy to admit she also gets the best of her future husband when they play a game of H-O-R-S-E.
“It’s been a couple of months,” claimed Torrey, who made 54 consecutive free throws her freshman year in junior college. “It’s been since basketball season, but he hasn’t won yet.”
So which one of the future bride and groom is the most competitive?
“Oooh, that’s a tough one,” said Torrey. “We’re honestly both pretty competitive. We’ve played sports our whole lives and grew up in coaching families and stuff like that.”
“Shoot, competitive-wise, it’s probably the same because everything we do is a competition,” agreed Littlejohn. “We just got done playing ping pong a little while ago and we were both sweating from it.”
“We just try to win every single thing we do,” claimed Littlejohn. “All we’ve known is winning. Hopefuly we can instill that competitiveness and that winning culture into our teams.”