By TERRELL LESTER
Editor at Large
Emily Barkley, left, at her Union High School office, and Gil Cloud at his Tulsa Public Schools office.
GTR Newspapers photo
It’s been a good year, a very good year, for Emily Barkley and Gil Cloud.
Barkley, director of athletics for Union Public Schools, was the recipient of the Oklahoma Coaches Association’s Athletics Director of the Year award during the organization’s summer clinic in Tulsa in July.
At the same time, the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Admin-istrators Association singled out Cloud, director of athletics for Tulsa Public Schools, for its State Award of Merit.
In each case, the recognition added to a rich and rewarding year.
In March, Emily and her husband, Justin Barkley, welcomed their first child, Sutton Caroline.
Justin Barkley, basketball coach at Rogers State University, received Heartland Conference Coach of the Year honors after leading his team to the league championship.
In July, Justin Barkley saw his athletics program confirmed for full Division II membership after years of competing within the .
Emily Barkley has been the overseer of athletics for the state’s second-largest high school since 2012.
“It has been an exciting year for our family,” she said, calling the award “an honor.”
“The has a long tradition of recognizing outstanding coaches in our profession and I am humbled to be included amongst them by this honor,” she said.
The week-long convention and clinic registered more than 8,200 coaches and hosted more than 450 graduated high school athletes for All-State games in nine sports.
Similar to the good fortune enjoyed by Emily Barkley, Cloud, too, can celebrate a run of milestones within his family.
Cloud, AD in for Tulsa Public Schools since 2012 and a 1964 graduate of Will Rogers High School, started the year off in January with induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
In the same week, he and his wife, Vickie, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Then, in the same July ceremony that honored the elder Cloud, their son, Matt, director of athletics at Tahlequah High School, received the Eastern Oklahoma Newcomer AD of the Year award from the OIAAA, sharing the honor with Steve Dunn of Broken Arrow.
“I am so pleased and happy for Matt,” Cloud said. “He has accomplished a great deal for the Tahlequah Public Schools.
“It is always more meaningful when one is recognized by his peers.”
The State Award of Merit is the highest honor bestowed by the OIAAA. “I am very humbled,” Cloud said.
“I have been very fortunate to work with a great staff which shares the values that we want our students to have as they grow.
“This year has been very rewarding professionally and personally for me and my family,” Cloud said.
Ten new members were inducted as the 50th class into the Hall of Fame. Owasso baseball coach Larry Turner and former Broken Arrow and Jenks football coach Ron Lancaster were honored, along with 1960 Tulsa Central graduate Gary Howard, retired as football coach at University of Central Oklahoma.
They were joined by Danny Daniels, Hominy; Tony Duck, Sulphur; Jim Ferguson, Alva; Bruce Harrington, Lawton Eisenhower; Clarence Madden, Lawton; Tim Reynolds, Chickasha, and Doug Tolin, Oklahoma Baptist University.
Other awards from the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association presented to area individuals:
National Council of Secondary Schools AD of the Year – Ed Garrett, Sand Springs.
Tom Westbrook Distinguished Service Award – Tommy Burns, Jenks.
Distinguished Service Award (Outside Field of Athletics) – Dean Atchison, Union.
Radio/TV, Eastern Oklahoma – Rick Couri, .