Longtime Okarche boys basketball coach Ray West

Story by Jacob Unruh (The Oklahoman)

Longtime Okarche boys basketball coach Ray West didn’t give up on the court, even when the odds were against his teams.

In 45 years of coaching, that was his trademark.

He kept his cancer diagnosis earlier this summer a secret, even as he took a turn for the worse last week. There was no quitting until the end.

West died Saturday night at age 68. Funeral services are pending.

“He was dead-set on beating it,” West’s son Aaron said. “He was still fighting just like you would in the fourth quarter or overtime.”

West spent the past 25 years at Okarche High School, where he led the Warriors to the state tournament 11 times. Last season, he led Okarche to the tournament for the first time since 2012, and he did it with Aaron as his assistant.

West also coached at Fort Supply, Gould, Purcell, Mustang, Mountain View and Cordell. He was the state’s active wins leader in boys basketball with 853 career victories.

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