Bo is Back!

Overton High School’s new athletic director and head football coach Arthur “Bo” Talkington signed his contract at the regular monthly board of trustees meeting Monday night.

“It’s exciting, I feel like I felt when I first started here back in 1981,” Talkington said.

With the contract now signed, Talkington reports to work Tuesday morning to begin his first day in the position he held from 1981-1988.

“There going to be a lot of just getting acclimated to things at the outset, talking to the other coaches and getting to know the students,” Talkington said. “I’m eager to get in there and support the other head coaches whose teams are in season now or are coming up, and ready to start preparing for the upcoming football season.”

The Overton ISD board of trustees voted 4-3 to offer the position of athletic director and head football coach to Talkington at a special called meeting last month.

“We had quite a few really qualified candidates, and we just felt that he was the best fit for the position,” OISD superintendent Alan Umholtz said following the meeting. “We’re excited about being able to bring on someone of his caliber so quickly.”

OISD board members Jerry Luster, Mike Rogers, and Pam Raney voted in favor of the motion while board members David Proctor, Kelvin Darden, and Scott Florey voted against the motion, with board president Scotty Moore’s tie-breaking vote passing the motion.

Talkington was hesitant to go into much detail about what approach he would take coming in to an athletic department that, on the whole, is experiencing relative success but he did say that he hopes to see an athletic program that has one vital trait running throughout.

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, there are some good coaches up there right now with how well the volleyball, basketball, and baseball has been doing,” Talkington said. “But if there’s anything that I hope stands out about our program, it’s going to be discipline and hard work.”

Following news of this hiring on Feb 23 was a flurry of debate at the Smoaky.com message boards, the website owned and maintained by David Smoak, a longtime sports broadcaster for KTBB radio and KLTV television stations.

“I honestly don’t think a football coaching hire at Lufkin, Longview, John Tyler, or Robert E. Lee would create this kind of feedback and discussion,” Smoak said.

The discussion spanned hundreds of individual posts and thousands of page-views, with numerous posts expressing opposition to the hiring. However, among those present in the audience at the board meeting Monday night, there was only support expressed.

One of those in attendance from the community was area resident Allen Cook, who played for Talkington and whose son currently attends Overton High School.

“Coach Talkington didn’t just teach you things on the field or in the classroom but he taught life lessons that stayed with you long after your school days are over,” Cook said. “I think it’s a great thing for our kids and for our community.”

Bo Talkington was 60-14-1 in seven seasons at the helm of the Mustangs and remains the school’s all-time winningest coach with an .800 winning percentage, which includes three undefeated regular seasons as well as five UIL state playoff appearances.

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