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Posted: Apr 15, 2024 4:24 PMUpdated: Apr 16, 2024 7:57 AM

DeSalme Returning Home to Lead Bruins

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Bartlesville High School has a new boys' basketball coach with ties to the program’s best years.

Tommy DeSalme is returning home to coach the Bruins.

DeSalme is leaving his post at Hutchinson Community College, where he led the Blue Dragons to a 75-28 record over three years. Last year Hutch went 29-7 and lost in the NJCAA quarterfinals.

DeSalme talks about why he is coming back to Bartlesville. 

The former Bruin played a pivotal role on the Bartlesville state championship teams in 1989 and 1991. He earned all-state, all-region and all-district honors as a senior at BHS. He returned to Bartlesville this past fall for the 1991 team’s induction into the Bartlesville Sports Hall of Fame.

DeSalme says he thinks with the right support that Bruin basketball can get back to that level.

DeSalme has tallied 471 wins in 23 seasons as a head coach at the collegiate level split between the NAIA and JUCO ranks. He was at Cowley County Community College for 12 years before his stint at Hutchinson and is the all-time wins leader at Cowley.

Old friends with the late Spence Rigdon, DeSalme says they used to talk about this day. 

DeSalme becomes just the third head boys’ basketball coach at BHS since 2001. He replaces Clent Stewart who led the program for the past 10 seasons, going 83-154.

BHS Athletic and Activities Director Thad Dilbeck talks about the hire.

DeSalme was officially introduced during Monday evening’s Bartlesville Board of Education meeting.


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