Phil Angieri

In this photo from 1996, Phil Angieri talks with his team in the Broken Arrow High School locker room.

Phil Angieri, 71, is an established coach and teacher at Sequoyah High School. As he approaches his 50th year of coaching, he reflects on his storied career.

Originally from New York City, he moved to Oklahoma when his father got a job with American Airlines in Tulsa.

"When we moved here, I realized all the kids were football players," said Angieri. "So, I started playing in junior high. By the time I got to high school, I was surrounded with a lot of really good players."

He attended Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa. According to Angieri, it was the largest high school in Oklahoma at the time, with more than 160 football players.

After graduation, he earned a scholarship to Northeastern State University, where he played for the next five years. He began coaching in 1970 at Bishop Kelly High School.

"From there, I moved onto Broken Arrow to become assistant coach," said Angieri. "I stayed there for 23 years and was the head coach during the last five to seven years. It was easier for me because I live in Broken Arrow."

Catoosa High School was Angieri's next career destination. He coached there for another 10 years before "retiring."

"I retired for about two weeks," said Angieri. "I just got bored. So, I worked for the Corrections Corporation of America over the summer and decided that I couldn't do it anymore."

Finally, he returned to coaching at Sequoyah High School, where he has remained for the last 15 years.

"The coaches I'm with now are just as good as any I've worked with at other schools," said Angieri. "The first six years I was here, we were district champions. Over the years, we've made the semi-finals twice and almost always make the playoffs."

Last season, however, was the first time Sequoyah did not make the playoffs in years.

"We're not too happy about that," said Angieri. "I want to get our program back to the playoffs. Here at Sequoyah, we expect to win."

Sequoyah football has a busy summer ahead to prepare for next season.

"At this point, football is a year-round sport," said Angieri. "I love seeing the kids in the weight room, improving. We have a good group."

As Angieri looks to the future, he hopes to continue coaching for as long as he can.

"I've been blessed with good health, so I'm going to keep coaching beyond 50 years," said Angieri. "I just can't imagine staying at home. I need to be moving and working. Plus, I've always wanted to win state. I've seen just about everything in my career, but it would be great to end on that."