Coach McDonald always pointed the way toward helping his players improve.

HOULKA • The Chickasaw County School District School Board has approved naming the Houlka basketball court the Jimmy Guy McDonald Court.

The action honoring the late legendary coach came during the board’s 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Said Superintendent Dr. Betsy Collums, who knew McDonald for many years: “We thought the world of him. He was well known for his coaching expertise, and for helping his players to improve.”

McDonald, 71, died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 at his home in Houlka. The Houston native coached for many years for Houlka Attendance Center. He was a member of Houlka First Baptist Church.

Coach McDonald is survived by his wife of 43 years, Debbie Jo Houston McDonald of Houlka; his daughter, Jill Marie (Brad) Vance of Houlka; Bradley Hubert (Lauren) McDonald of Bruce; his sisters, Bonnie Sappington of Houlka, and Vicki (Donnie) Homan of Pontocola; and his grandchildren, Jade Gunnells, Addie Kate Vance, Jace Tutor, Lily Tutor, and Mary Haire, according to obituary information.

McDonald retired following the 2017-18 season. He spent most of his career at Houlka, where he won three state championships and a Grand Slam title. He won a total of 1,772 games – 906 coaching girls, 866 with boys.

McDonald took teams to State Tournaments in Jackson 22 times, including his final season, when the boys reached the Class 1A semifinals.

McDonald was also an outstanding baseball coach, leading Houlka to a state title in 1973.

Over the years, Coach McDonald received uncounted awards. Among them: Kellogg‘s- Woman’s Basketball Coach of the year- 1977; induction into the Mississippi Coaches Hall of Fame- 2014; induction into the NEMS Basketball Coach Hall of Fame- 2012-2013; and induction into the NEMCABB- Coach Hall of Fame- 2014.

Some at his funeral were silent evidence of his legendary coaching ability: Honorary pallbearers were the 1973 Baseball State Champs, 1975 Girls Basketball Grand Slam Champs, 1977 Girls Basketball State Champs, and 2000 Boys Basketball State Champs.

In other action during the meeting, trustees took care of the following items of business:

--Approved Phil Tutor as board attorney for 2020 at an annual salary of $7,200.

--Voted to keep the same officers for 2020 that were in place in 2019: They include Michelle Collums – chairperson; Kenneth Linton – vice-chair; and Jamie Earp – secretary.

--Released junior high-high school math teacher Danny Kelly from his current contract. It was his second request; he told trustees he wishes to seek other employment.

--Approved the following consent agenda items: Minutes from Dec. 3 and Dec. 19 board meetings; payment of claims; budget amendments; and out of district travel.

--Approved the following fundraisers: Chicken/steak dinner – junior class – B. Burt – Jan. 16; Spaghetti lunch and dinner – junior class – B. Burt – Feb. 6; Selling bracelets in Houlka colors – Student Council – Poe – (Jan. 8 – Jan. 22); Selling tumblers/cups – Theater 1 – Poe – Feb. 18 – Feb. 28); Chances for $100 – Student Council – Poe – Jan. 27 – Feb. 3); Clothes drive – Student Council – Poe – (Feb. 3 – Feb. 12); BBQ supper/leadoff banquet – Huffman/Turner – (Jan. 8 – Jan. 22 with banquet on Feb. 1); Easter basket giveaway – Simmons – Sophomore Class – (March 30 – April 9).

--Approved financial statements.

--Approved Carra Turner’s donation to the senior class for the processing fee for the Santa picture fundraiser.

--Approved the donation of $100 from Wildcat Diner to the Student Council.

--Reviewed the revision of policies due to legislative updates and the travel reimbursement policy. Copies of these policies were given out at the meeting.

--Approved J. T. Washington as baseball assistant for a $1,500 supplement.


--Approved hiring James Troy Washington as a math teacher for the spring 2020 semester at A0 on the salary scale pending certification. That hiring and approval took place in a short meeting Dec. 19.

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