Former coach found dead at school

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The former basketball coach of Presbyterian Christian High School was found dead in the school’s gymnasium early Tuesday and officials think he may have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The death of Mark Bryan is under investigation and an autopsy was planned. Eyewitnesses told The Hattiesburg American newspaper that Bryan went to the boys locker room around 8 a.m. with the intention of packing some of his personal belongings.

“I saw him this morning and he was asking me for some boxes,” said assistant baseball coach Jeff Farris, who was helping with the school’s baseball camp. “It’s a total shock to everybody. My thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Bryan’s family and friends.”

Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict said he expects autopsy results to be released Wednesday.

Bryan resigned in March after four seasons as the Bobcats coach, posting a record of 52-65. He had recently accepted a position as an assistant coach at Jackson Prep.

The Bobcats were 9-23 this past season, but played well late in the season and advanced to the semifinals of the Class 3A, Division 2 Tournament.

“Coach Bryan is as fine a Christian man as you’d ever want to meet and it’s a measure of the respect the kids have for him that they played as hard as they did late in the season,” PCS principal Chip Jones said at the time of Bryan’s resignation.