HOUSTON – In recognition for his ten years of coaching softball at Houston High School, Keith Jernigan was awarded Coach of the Year status by the National Federation of High School awards. Representatives of the Mississippi High School Activities Association presented the honor to Jernigan in Clinton recently.
Jernigan left the grocery business and returned to college to fulfill his dream of teaching and coach, preferably at his Alam Mater, Houston High School. During his tenure, he led the Lady Toppers to a 34-2 record and a state championship in Class 4A in 2012. The two-game sweep was the school’s first state championship in any sport since 1985.
HHS Principal Buz Boyer commended Jernigan not only for his coaching abilities but also for his mentorship of his team members, past and present.
“Coach Jernigan has done a great job of not only building a State Championship softball program, but also serving as a great leader for the girls who are and have been involved in the program,” Boyer said.
The Lady Toppers currently hold an overall record of 17-5 and clinched the division title with a 9-0 record and one division game left to play.
Jernigan is in his tenth year coaching the Lady Toppers and has compiled a 205-71 record in fast pitch and a 196-95 record in slow pitch.
He nodded to the teams he has coached and the help he has received for earning the coaching award.
“It’s a big honor on the part of the players and all the others who have helped coach through the years,” Jernigan said. “They earned it as much as I did. It’s get it for all of us. It’s a team thing.”
“No one is more deserving of this honor than Coach Jernigan. I am glad that the state recognizes not only the success Coach jernigan has had, but also his hard work and dedication to the program,” Boyer said.