Mississippi College Sports Hall of Fame Selects 2012 Class
April 24, 2012
Jackson Academy track coach Jason Williams found his calling in life at Mississippi College.
A 1994 MC graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in business communications, Williams wasn’t exactly sure what would do for a career.
A Magee native who lettered in track and field for four years on the Clinton campus, Williams was advised by Choctaws track coach Billy Lamb and others to simply “do the thing you’re good at doing.”
And that solid piece of advice led Williams, who holds MC’s indoor and outdoor pole vault records, to enter track’s coaching ranks. The 40-year-old head boys and girls track coach at Jackson Academy and offensive coordinator of the JA football team, Williams is among eight new inductees into Mississippi College’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Williams never would have accomplished all he did as an MC track star without Lamb, who’s now the head track coach at Madison Central High. “He gave me a chance. I was mediocre in high school,” says the Simpson Academy alumnus.
At MC, Williams also developed a passion for track that he calls “a unique sport that is a true judge of character.”
Chosen as an NCAA Division II track All-American in 1993 and 1994, Jason Williams discovered other things at MC besides his favorite Olympic sport. He married Stephanie Fulmer, a 1993 MC graduate, and they are the parents of two children, Hope, 10, and Drew, 6.
Mississippi College helped instill values that shaped the life of the successful JA coach. “It was a great environment as I went from being a teen to a young man.”
Williams served as athletic director at Rossville Christian Academy in Rossville, Tennessee from 1996 to 1999 before a stint as head track coach at the Washington School in Greenville, MS from 2000 to 2004 and joined the JA athletic staff eight years ago.
His JA girls track teams were good enough to be the AAA State MAIS track champions in 2007, 2008, and 2009. His achievements at Jackson Academy include being named the MAIS Track Coach of the Year for three consecutive seasons starting in 2007. For the past dozen years he’s tutored upcoming pole vaulters at the Jason Williams Pole Vaulting Academy.
There are other stellar Mississippi College student-athletes landing in the university’s Sports Hall of Fame and were honored at an April 21 banquet on the Clinton campus.
Malcolm Houston, an agent with State Farm Insurance Companies in Flowood, is a 1992 MC graduate who starred on the Choctaws football team. “It is an honor to have been selected to the Hall of Fame,” he said. “The coaches and professors I played and studied under at Mississippi College will forever be a part of my life.”
Houston especially thanked coaches John Williams, Terry McMillan and Lauren Collins for their help to “shape my future, and I am forever grateful that God gave me the opportunity to attend MC.”
A member of the class of 1969, Mississippi Gulf Coast businessman Ed Trehern excelled as a football player for the Choctaws back when they played in NCAA Division II ranks in the Gulf South Conference.
“I made many lifetime friendships while getting to realize a dream of playing college football and even more enjoyable to fulfill those goals at a great Christian university,” Trehern said.
A strong supporter of the MC School of Business, the large lecture hall at Self Hall is named in Trehern’s honor.
Other inductees include 1966 alumnus H. Harlan Stanley, a standout on the Choctaws basketball team. Shinall T. Conway, a 2001 graduate joined the elite group due to his accomplishments on the MC football team.
The top executive at the Bob Boyte Honda dealership in Brandon, Bob Boyte is a 1982 Mississippi College graduate and Clinton resident who was an outstanding Choctaws baseball player 30 years ago. Winner of the 1980 Most Valuable Player Award, Boyte holds the MC baseball record in career triples and ranks second in runs scored and total bases. He also ranks first for games played in one season.
Also inducted into the 2012 MC Sports Hall of Fame was 1953 graduate Howard L. Willoughby for his football exploits. Raymond “Mickey” McGuire, a 1957 graduate, was recognized for his athletic skills in basketball, football and track. He played during the Howard Sessums era.
A “rags to riches” story, McGuire grew up in relative poverty in rural Kentucky. After graduating from MC, he worked on an oil rig to raise enough money to pay for law school at the University of Mississippi. The MC graduate later became the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi and worked for a few years in the U.S. Department of Justice then led by Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. McGuire left the federal agency to join BellSouth and then AT&T where he became a lobbyist who effectively represented the company on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Jason Williams