NEW ALBANY – Harry Adair, a true Mississippi basketball coaching legend, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. He was born in Ingomar on Jan. 30, 1933, to Henry and Dolly Williams Adair. A 1951 graduate of Ingomar High School, he married his high school sweetheart, the former Sarah Waugh, in June 1952. He always enjoyed coaching basketball, his family, especially his grandchildren, raising horses and helping his son, Jeff, train horses for the public. He was a member of Ingomar Baptist Church where he served as deacon and Sunday School superintendent.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at United Funeral Service Chapel with the Rev. Clyde Pound officiating. Burial will be in the Vista Memorial Park. United Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements.
He received his B.A. and Master of Education degrees from Mississippi State University. His first coaching job was at Hurricane for one year and then he took the job at Algoma for two years, both in Pontotoc County. His girls went to state in his second year at Algoma. His next move was to Hatley, where he won five state titles and four Grand Slam titles. He coached here for 12 years, taking his girls team to state 11 of the 12 years. His high school record with girls was 397 wins and 68 losses. He carried his boys’ team to state in 1969 and his record was 266 wins and 131 losses. He was selected North All Star Coach in 1968. He was principal at Hatley the last three years before going to Northwest Mississippi Community College. He also had a winning nine years at Northwest where his lady Rangers won a National Championship in 1983 and second, third, and fifth place finishes in the national tournament. They claimed five North Division championships, four state and region crowns and had a winning record of 236 wins and 28 losses. He was Coach of the Year four times in his high school career. He was elected president of the Mississippi Association of Coaches in 1974-75, giving him a lifetime membership in the MAC. He served in numerous positions in the MAC and the Southeastern Coaches Association. He was named NJCAA Coach of the Year in 1983, Region 23 Coach of the Year four times and Mississippi Coach of the Year four times. He retired from public schools in 1987, completing 25 years of coaching and a total of 30 years with the Mississippi State Department of Education. He and his wife built and lived on her home place in Ingomar after retiring. He was inducted into the State of Mississippi Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 in Jackson. He coached in private school at Calhoun Academy for two years, continuing his winning record with 101 wins and 31 losses. He was elected Union County superintendent of education in 1991 and served from 1992 to 1996 before retiring again. He was inducted into Northwest Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
He is survived by his four sons, Phil Adair (Pam) of Hatley, Cliff Adair (Angie) of Bruce, Jeff Adair (Pam) of Ingomar and Tony Adair (Karen) of Senatobia; two brothers, Bro. Kenny Adair (Lavene) of New Albany and William Adair (Glenda) of Ingomar; a sister, Jane Cole (James) of Vernon, Ala.; eight grandchildren, Clint Adair (Hannah) of Bartlett, Tenn., Emily Simmons (Lane) of Starkville, Chance and Candice Adair of Bruce, Mallory Adair of Ingomar, Kayla, Madison and Kallie Adair of Senatobia; a great-grandchild, Hatley Adair of Bartlett, Tenn.; a brother-in-law, Jerry Waugh (Sharon) of Kiln; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; two daughters, Alesia Dale and Harrilyn Virginia Adair; and a brother, Carl Adair.
His sons and grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
Visitation will be from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, or Ingomar Baptist Church in New Albany.
For online condolences and guest registry, visit unitedfuneralservice.com.
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