Coach Mike Gavin, a cherished figure of the coast, is honored with induction into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame – WXXV News 25

Beloved coast Coach Mike Gavin gets inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame

Mississippi has only seven athletes in the national high school athletic coaches association hall of fame, and Coach Mike Gavin, a coast native, was inducted into this prestigious group on Wednesday evening in Bismarck, North Dakota. News 25 Sports Reporter Ansley Brent had the privilege of interviewing Coach Gavin, who is a well-deserved recipient of this honor.

Mike Gavin, a veteran coach on the coast, revealed that his passion for coaching young men sparked in him during his junior college days when he started coaching little league baseball. His experience of dealing with young men motivated him to pursue his dream of becoming a coach. Therefore, he majored in coaching at Southern Miss, and it has remained an integral part of his career. Gavin expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of young men through his coaching.

Mike Gavin has an extensive coaching career that spans across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He has made a significant impact at every stop he has made. Gavin started as an assistant coach at Harrison Central High School in 1973, and later became the Head Coach and Athletic Director at St. John High School for ten years. He continued to lead football programs at East Central and D’Iberville.

Not only did he gain experience at the high school level, but he also expanded his expertise by serving as the Defensive Coordinator at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He then moved on to become the principal of Stone County Middle School, where he had the opportunity to make a positive impact on students’ lives. Additionally, he lent his coaching skills to the Mississippi Fire Dogs, showcasing his passion for the sport. Finally, he returned to where it all started and served as the Athletic Director for the Harrison County school district until his retirement in 2014.

Having won numerous District titles, championships, and All-Star rosters as a coach, what Coach values the most are the relationships he has built with his coaches and athletes. These relationships are a testament to the strong bond and trust he has established with them.

According to Gavin, one of the things he is most proud of is not just having successful teams but also having players who went on to achieve success in their personal lives. He takes immense pride in knowing that some of his former players have become doctors, lawyers, and professionals in various fields. For Gavin, the highlight of his life is seeing the players he coached go on to become successful individuals in their careers.

Gavin’s past players have deep feelings of pride and adoration when they reflect on the time they spent being coached and mentored by him.

Chris LeBatard, a former member of the 1993 D’Iberville football team, reminisces about playing under Coach Gavin. LeBatard recalls how practice was the highlight of the week due to the exciting and enjoyable atmosphere that Coach Gavin created. LeBatard credits this positive environment for their team’s success, which was a direct result of Coach Gavin’s love for what he did. “Playing under Coach Gavin was always exciting,” says LeBatard. “I think the one memory I have more than anything is how much fun we had during practice.”

According to Keith Carter, the Athletic Director of Ocean Springs, who played for the 1992 D’Iberville football team, the late coach was not only exceptional in teaching the game of football, but also imparted valuable life lessons that made them stronger. He described the coach as a great teacher and a wonderful person who had a positive impact on their lives both on and off the field.

Brian Saffle, a former member of the 1992 St. John football team, expressed his admiration for his mentor, stating “I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be a mentor in my life.” He recognizes the mentor’s dedication to serving his community and preparing young men for the challenges that lie ahead. The mentor’s commitment to molding young minds has left a lasting impact on those he has guided.

Eric Oehms, a member of the 1993 D’Iberville football team, shared how Coach Buddy Singleton impacted the lives of many players across different regions. Oehms stated, “Everybody I know that played for him, he just touched so many lives and so many men from Gulfport in St. John to Hurley at East Central and up to Perk, he just had a positive effect on our lives and career.” Coach Singleton’s influence was felt beyond the football field, and his legacy will continue to inspire players for generations to come.

Coach Gavin’s impact on his players will be long-lasting, and his name will forever be etched in the annals of history. Recently, he was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Bismarck, North Dakota, making him the eighth Mississippian to receive this honor. Upon hearing the news, he was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude.

Coach Gavin expressed his heartfelt emotions when he spoke about being named Coach of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches. He remarked, “It kind of brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.” While he was inducted into the Mississippi Hall of Fame in 2021, he considers this award the highlight of his career.

“I won’t be able to be there, and it’s a shame. I was present when he was inducted into the Mississippi Coaches Hall of Fame. Nonetheless, he deserves this honor, and I’m thrilled for him,” expressed Oehms.

According to Carter, the recent recognition received by a certain coach is well-deserved and he hopes that the coach enjoys all the time and attention he’s getting. Carter expresses his happiness for the coach and emphasizes that he was a great coach.

LaBatard congratulated the coach and expressed his admiration by saying, “Well deserved, you are 100% first class all-time.”

According to Brian Saffle, there is no one else he knows who deserves it more than the person being discussed.

According to Coach Gavin, his induction into the hall of fame wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support of his assistant coaches over the years. He also credits his family for being the driving force behind the creation of the award. “I couldn’t have achieved this without my amazing team and my family’s encouragement,” he said.

We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Coach Gavin for his remarkable achievement! The entire team at WXXV wishes him the very best on his well-deserved success.

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