Ray Coach of the year

Published 12:45 am Sunday, June 27, 2010

Poplarville head softball coach Jonathan Ray was honored by his peers Friday night.

The veteran Lady Hornets mentor was selected as coach of the year in the state of Mississippi for slow pitch softball for this past season by the Mississippi Association of Coaches. He was honored at the annual MAC Hall of Fame ceremonies here at the Hilton, receiving a plaque to mark the occasion.

“It was very exciting, it’s a very big honor for me,” Ray, who guided Poplarville to the Class 4A state championship in the fall, said. “It was a good experience. They gave us the red carpet treatment.”

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Ray is 190-71 overall in nine years at the helm of the slow-pitch Lady Hornets. He has also spent the past five seasons as head coach of the fast-pitch team and stands 101-40 giving him almost 300 total wins for his prep softball coaching career.

Ray was quick to point out where the credit for all of his success should be directed. “I have to give my girls over the years all the credit,” Ray added. “I got the award but they should get the recognition. I want to share it with all the girls over all the years that came through this program. They did all the work. Them and my assistant coaches.”

One of those assistants, Drew Ross, was also recognized Friday night at the banquet as a distinguished assistant coach in the state.

MAC Hall of Fame inductees honored were Mike Bain, championship cross country and track & field coach at Pontotoc High;  Bobby Franklin, national and state championship juco football coach at Northwest Community College; Milton Kuykendall, championship basketball coach at Nettleton and Horn Lake; Jimmy Guy McDonald, championship basketball and baseball coach at Houlka and Kossuth; and Isaiah Peterson, legendary championship boys’ basketball coach at Broad Street and Coahoma County High.