Co-Lin’s Young earns honors on and off the court

Published 8:45 pm Friday, February 8, 2013

Gwyn Young, is a real-life coaching legend residing in the quaint little town of Wesson. Legendary status impresses a lot of people, but Young prefers to be known as a successful women’s basketball coach, plus a loving husband, father and grandfather.

Young’s coaching accomplishments at Copiah-Lincoln Community College often are taken for granted. There is no huge sign on campus proclaiming his accomplishments.

However, Young will join an elite group later this year when he becomes an official member of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

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If you enjoy numbers, consider these. He has amassed 814 wins and 35 losses during 36 years of coaching at Co-Lin. That makes him the winningest active women’s basketball coach in the nation.

His Lady Wolves have had 23 MACJC regular-season first-place finishes. They’ve won six state championships and been runners-up seven times.

They’ve also won seven NJCAA Region 23 Championships and finished second nine times. Included are six NJCAA National Tournament appearances. They finished sixth twice and seventh once, plus earning a fourth place finish in 1989.

Speaking of respect, Young’s Lady Wolves are acclaimed across the nation. Beating Co-Lin is worth bragging about.

The Lady Wolves are ranked nationally and that brings a lot of recognition to the Magnolia State. Young doesn’t have an international recruiting budget like many junior colleges across the nation. Most of his players are from the Magnolia State.

He isn’t recognized for emotional outbursts on the sidelines during games. He will question the officials regarding some of their calls, but he rarely receives a technical foul.

He doesn’t cuss and stomp his feet like some coaches are prone to do. Just a few words here and there will get the undivided attention of his players. They respect his paternal presence on the sidelines and play hard every game.

Young is a patient recruiter. His wife, Velesta, previously often went with him on those long drives to out-of-the-way high school gymnasiums. Nowadays, much of her spare time is devoted to their four grandchildren.

Co-Lin’s Mullen Gymnasium court was named in Young’s honor in November of 2011. Certainly, Young has made a proud, permanent imprint on Co-Lin basketball.