WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WTOK) – It was a celebration filled with hugs, cheers and even a few tears.
On Friday night, Wayne County High School honored women’s basketball head coach Gina Skelton and her recent achievement of 900 career wins.
“It was a night in East Central when she won on Jan. 5 and only a small number of people were there, around 15 to 20 people,” said Wayne County High School principal Bubba Hathorn. “I hate that it happened on the road and I wish it had been here, but being able to come back tonight and celebrate it against Pascagoula is pretty good.”
Skelton received a special plaque and basketball with the number “900” to commemorate his landmark achievement.
Special guests at the ceremony included Mississippi High School Activities Association Executive Director Rickey Neaves and Mississippi Association of Coaches Executive Director Johnny Mims.
Skelton High School basketball coach Geary Jackson also came to support his former player-turned-coach. Jackson shared that Skelton hasn’t changed much since he coached her as a junior at Waynesboro Central High School in 1976.
“I’m telling you what… she absolutely loved basketball back then and still loves basketball,” Jackson said. “She’s just a hard worker. It was then and it is now.
Now in his 40th season as a head coach, Skelton is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
As for the secret of its success? It’s simple: she loves being a coach.
“There is nothing like being a coach. Working with the youth and the camaraderie we have with our peer coaches, ”said Skelton. “I have mentioned to several people that when I decide to hang up my whistle, in addition to missing my assistants and my players, I will truly miss the camaraderie of our coaching association.”
Some of Skelton’s other accomplishments as a coach include four state championships, twenty division titles and being named “Coach of the Year” 20 times by various organizations.
Skelton began her coaching career at Pickens County High School in Alabama. Since then she has coached at various high schools in Magnolia State including Carthage, Quitman and Forest. She is currently in her second stint as the head coach of women’s basketball in Wayne County.
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