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Former VHS assistant coach creates a legacy of building successful programs

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Thomas Billups (Photo courtesy Tougaloo College)

Since arriving at Tougaloo College in 2015, head basketball coach Thomas Billups has made his team a dominant force on the basketball court.

Starting the early 1970s, Billups was an assistant coach for the Vicksburg High Gators where he helped lead them to a state championship in 1980. In 1983, he took over the Junior High basketball program, leading them to four Little Six championships. He won two Little Six championships with the ninth-grade team as well.

In 1991, Lanier High School in Jackson hired Billups as head coach, and he remained there for the next 22 years. At Lanier, Billups built a program that couldn’t be stopped. He led the school to 13 state championship appearances and eight state championship titles. Billups had a 617-119 record as Lanier’s head coach in 22 seasons.

After contract disputes with Lanier, Billups took a job as Oak Grove High School head coach in 2013. The next season Tougaloo College hired him as head coach in 2014, where he would turn around another struggling program. The Bulldogs had a 12-18 record before he arrived.

Billups has now had six successful seasons as Tougaloo College head basketball coach. This year, the Bulldogs finished this season with a 24-8 record under a coach who prepares his team for a championship every year.

 

 

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Vicksburg Daily News