Cogburn, Richardson named inaugural basketball coaches at West Plains High School

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Kendall Cogburn, left, and Kevin Richardson were named the new boys and girls basketball coaches at West Plains High School on Monday night. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]

The new West Plains High School continued its growth by hiring its first ever boys and girls basketball coaches during a Canyon ISD school board meeting Monday night.

West Plains has hired Kendall Cogburn as the boys basketball coach, and Kevin Richardson as the girls basketball coach.

“I’m thrilled about both of these hires,” Canyon athletic director Toby Tucker said. “We’re starting to build a really good culture at West Plains and these two add to that. Coach Richardson is a winner everywhere he’s been, and coach Cogburn is an up and comer. He gets his guys to play gritty withgreat defense.”

Cogburn and Richardson both have roots in the Canyon ISD system. Cogburn is a 2008 Randall graduate, and Richardson a 1992 Canyon grad.

Richardson’s late father, Jody, coached at Canyon for 25 years, his mother, Susan, taught at at Canyon for 30 years, and his wife, Darcie, played for the legendary Joe Lombard.

Richardson cemented his name as one of the best Texas Panhandle coaches during his 17 seasons (2002-2019) leading the Canadian Lady Cats. During his tenure, Richardson, who was 499-98 at Canadian, led the Lady Cats to a 2017 UIL Class 3A state championship, a state runner-up in 2005, as well as making 13 regional tournament appearances.

Richardson has spent the past three years as the head coach at Wall carrying its proud tradition with 67 wins in that time.

“This was an extremely difficult decision,” said Richardson who is 600-199 overall as a head coach. “I thought leaving Canadian was the toughest decision of my career. But to go to a place like Wall and falling in love with it, that is now my toughest decision to leave there. But my family and I are excited to be moving home, and we feel this is the right decision.”

Cogburn has been on a fast track ever since stepping on the high school coaching scene in 2014. In eight seasons between stops at Happy and Bushland, Cogburn has amassed 153 wins, took Happy to the 2016 UIL Class 1A state tournament, and has won three district championships at Bushland.

“Telling my players, and athletic director Josh Reynolds that I was taking this job was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Cogburn said. “Ultimately I know Bushland will continue to be successful. It was just a great opportunity to come to West Plains. They are building a tremendous staff, and administration. I know my goals is to bring that Bushland culture to West Plains.”

For both men, the excitement of starting a program from scratch was a huge selling point. Cogburn and Richardson love the idea of building from the ground up.

“This is definitely a dream opportunity,” Cogburn said. “There are a lot of really good head coaches that have never gotten this opportunity. This is something I want to take and run with.”

Richardson echoed Cogburn’s comments.

“You always think of jobs that are out there and are already established,” Richardson said. “You know the players that have set the culture and are established. Taking this job is unique because you don’t know who your team is, or who the players are yet. It’s also exciting because you know you’ll have a big influence on the foundation.”

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