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franklin county times

Judy Morgan: I love to compete'

By Staff
PROFESSIONAL WOMAN Judy Morgan has coached students at Quitman High School for 30 years. She is currently the high school's girls basketball and track coach. Her interest in helping children achieve their goals have kept her in the profession all these years. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
April 14, 2002
Judy Morgan's coaching career has spanned three decades, most of it at Quitman High School.
Morgan, who is currently the high school girls basketball and track team coach, said she has a desire to help children which keeps her going to work each day.
Morgan's career began 1969 as a coach at Hollandale High School. Two years later, the Brookhaven native accepted a position at Quitman High School alongside her husband, James, who was also a coach and teacher.
Love of the game
Morgan played high school basketball. She would have played ball in college, but in the late 1960s women's basketball was not offered.
Morgan left college with the experience of a life time.
At Delta State, Morgan had a chance to take classes under legendary coach, Margaret Wade. The Wade Trophy is now given to the Most Outstanding Player in the college ranks.
When Morgan began her coaching career, there were few women coaches.
Her advice is simple.
Student athletics
Morgan believes coaching gives a different perspective of a student.
Her job requires a lot of hours away from home and a lot of hours with other people's children.
When she thinks about former students, a few names come to mind.
Donna Evans, a biology teacher at the high school, currently serves as Morgan's assistant basketball coach.
Evans remembers her high school days on the basketball court at Quitman High well.
Morgan teaches students about life also.
Morgan feels pretty much the same about Evans.
Another former student, Taemmika Sims, is currently playing college basketball at Texas A&M.
Opportunities for children
Morgan said she wants to give students an opportunity to better themselves.
She stresses education, good sportsmanship and pride to her students.
Memorable moments
Morgan's 1978 girls basketball team had a record of 28-2.
Morgan was honored in 1981 as the Girls Sports Coach of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches. In 1997 she was selected as the coach for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Basketball Game.
Her basketball teams have earned five district championships, four district runner-ups, and one South State championship.
Her track teams have earned 21 district championships and one state championship.
But, in 1998 her proudest moment came when she was inducted into the Mississippi Coaches Hall of Fame.
Family support
Morgan's husband of 33 years, James, is now the assistant superintendent for the Quitman School District.
She can remember when he was a coach alongside her. She said the support he gave her in the early years meant much to her.
The couple's only child, Chris, 28, and his wife, Paula, reside in the Center Hill Community. Morgan has one grandson, Lakelyn, 6 months-old.
The Morgan's are active in First Baptist of Church, where Judy works in the nursery taking care of toddlers.
Retirement, no thanks
With 33 years invested in her career, Morgan is only looking forward to more.
Morgan says she believes retirement will come and she will feel it in her soul.