Minor league football returns to town with the Bounty Hunters’ arrival.
BY DEAN ANDERSON
By day, Oklahoma City bail bondsman Tom Trepagnier is responsible for making sure local outlaws follow the rules. On the weekends, he lets them run free.
Trepagnier, who owns Trep’s 2Blondes Bail Bonds, has invested his time and money into the minor-league football franchise Oklahoma City Bounty Hunters.
“Football has always been a love,” he said. “It’s got a lot of potential.”
Kevin Cox and Brian Kelly are co-head coaches, with Cox handling offense and Kelly taking defense.
Kelly said what sets the Bounty Hunters apart from the Diamondbacks and a long list of minor-league predecessors is “our vision and commitment to ... having a team for Oklahoma City that competes on a national level.”
The team is one of more than 100 franchises in the Gridiron Developmental Football League.
“Ninety percent of these players aren’t interested in going on [to the next level], but 100 percent of these guys still want to play football,” Trepagnier said, noting more than half of his roster includes former college players.
Trepagnier was a walk-on at both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University under Barry Switzer and Pat Jones, respectively. Kelly, a former Edmond Santa Fe head coach, played at OSU and then coached at six colleges.
Cox played high school ball in Harrah and then at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., before serving as offensive coordinator for Millwood High School from 2005 to 2012.
“We have some Division I athletes on our team,” Kelly said. “We have guys on our team who have played arena football and could probably walk into an arena club tomorrow and make the team. Our goal is to give young guys that are 23 to 28 an opportunity to extend their playing career and possibly catch the eye of an organization in a larger league.”
Our goal is to give young guys an opportunity to extend their playing career.
The season is expected to run through July 20. All proceeds from Saturday’s game benefit tornado relief.
The first two weeks of results were promising. OKC beat Team Arkansas 41-12 in the lone preseason game. The Bounty Hunters unloaded on the Arkansas Sabers in week one 61-20.
For Trepagnier, the franchise is an opportunity to rekindle the love of a sport he started playing when he was 5.
“This is not bush-league football,” he said. “Once somebody watches, they’ll see it’s very good football.”
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