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History

Black Excellence: Knox remains the longest serving VHS head football coach

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James Knox
Coach James Knox (courtesy of Franco Knox)

After a successful 30 years of coaching in high school football, James Knox remains the longest serving and head coach in Vicksburg High School history.

Before Knox took over as head coach of the Gators, he served many years as an assistant coach.  When Jim Sizemore stepped down from the head coach position in 1989, it was time for Knox to prove he could handle the team on his own.

Gulfport High would be the team Knox would have attempted to defeat in his first season, and he completed that task by leading the Gators to a 7-0 victory. He would end his first season as head coach with a 7-4 record and a trip to the first round of the playoffs.

Next season would be one of Knox’s best years as head coach, and VHS would not only make it to the semifinals of the playoffs, but they also defeated crosstown rival Warren Central in a 10-9 win. The Gators would end the 1990 season with a 10-3 record under Knox’s leadership.

James Knox

Coach Knox with the Gators (courtesy of Franco Knox)

By 1991, Knox had established himself as a great leader and was ready to go into his third season with plenty of tough players and a great coaching staff. That year, the Gators would allow less then 10 points per game, which helped them to a 11-2 season and another trip to the semifinals.

With his continued success, Knox stayed on as VHS head coach for another decade where he would lead the school to many more winning seasons and see several athletes earn football scholarships. He also coached NFL players Mark Smith and Michael Myers, who both excelled in the pros.

After 10 successful seasons, the close of the 20th century would also be the finale of Knox’s career. He ended his last season with a 7-4 record before retiring with an overall 90-59 head coaching record.

Over his 31 years of coaching, Knox mentored and taught important life lessons to young men at VHS who trusted his leadership and guidance. The city of Vicksburg will always be in debt to Coach Knox for the positive impact he has made on so many lives over the years.

To date, there has not been any head coach has served as long as James Knox. He is now happily enjoying his retirement.

 

 

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Vicksburg Daily News