Dr. Hartwell “Coach” McPhail

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 7, 2004

Services for Dr. Hartwell “Coach” McPhail of Clinton are 2:30p.m., Friday, May 7, at First Baptist Church of Clinton with burialin Clinton Cemetery. Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home is in chargeof arrangements.

Visitation is Friday from 1:30-2:30 p.m., at the church.

Mr. McPhail, 83, died May 5, 2004, at Hospice Ministries. He wasborn in Lincoln County to C.T. and Effie Montgomery McPhail.

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He was a respected leader in the field of athletics andacademics in both high school and college ranks for over half acentury in the state of Mississippi. He coached at high schools inBrookhaven, Greenville and Greenwood, winning the Big 8 footballchampionship in 1957 and 1958 and was named coach of theMississippi All-Star team. He was Big 8 Coach of the Year in 1957.He joined the staff at Mississippi College, his alma mater, in 1959as athletic director and head coach. He served as head coach of theChoctaws for 12 years, 1959-1971, accumulating a record of 59 wins,50 losses and five ties for a .539 percentage. His best season wasin 1961 when he had an 8-1 record and four consecutive shutouts toopen the year. He was named to the Mississippi College Sports Hallof Fame and the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame. Heserved a stint as executive secretary of the MississippiAssociation of Coaches.

After retiring from coaching in 1971, he remained at MC as aprofessor and chairman of the department of health and physicaleducation and recreation until his full retirement in 1985. MCconferred the Order of the Golden Arrow award on him at Homecoming2003. He is a former president of the Mississippi CollegeFifty-Year Club and served as vice president of his senior class atMC.

McPhail earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from MC in 1941, aMaster’s of Arts degree from the University of Alabama in 1949, anda Doctor of Education degree from the University of SouthernMississippi in 1976. A decorated military veteran, McPhail servedas a World War II Naval Officer and was the recipient of fivebattle stars. He was a member of various civic groups and heldmembership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion,Phi Delta Kappa and the Red, Red Rose. He was an active member ofFirst Baptist Church of Clinton, where he was recently voted in asa lifetime deacon and was a member of the Council of Deacons and alongtime teacher of the men’s Sunday school class.

Survivors are his wife of 55 years, Annie Ruth Saxton McPhail ofClinton; his son, Hartwell Dale McPhail of Madison; his sisters,Verna Mae Smith of Natchez, and Marnel Gartman of Houston, Texas;his brother, Aubrey McPhail of Collinsville; and two grandsons.

Memorials may be made to the McPhail Scholarship Fund atMississippi College, P.O. Box 4001, Clinton, MS 39058, or to FirstBaptist Church of Clinton.