Gray to be inducted into MACJC Sports Hall of Fame
John R. Gray of Brookhaven will be inducted into the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College (MACJC) Sports Hall of Fame at a Banquet set for April 28 at Muse Center, located on Rankin Campus of Hinds Community College, starting at 6 p.m.
Gray, a native of Pelahatchie, was a two-sport standout at Hinds Junior College from 1956 to 1958 in baseball and basketball for the Eagles.
Gray was a two-year letterman in both sports at Hinds, becoming the second guard in Hinds basketball history to make the All-State team and had an amazing .650 batting average in baseball. For his achievements in two sports on the Raymond Campus, he was inducted into the Hinds Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
After graduating from Hinds in 1958, Gray moved on to nearby Mississippi College, where he averaged 21.5 points per game for his career on the school’s basketball team and was part of the Choctaws record setting offense that averaged 114 points per game in his senior season. He was selected as an honorable mention All-American and ranked 14th in the country in scoring among small college players.
Gray, who received his bachelor’s degree from MC in 1960, was later inducted into MC’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
After his time at Mississippi College, Gray moved into the world of high school athletics, where his coaching job was at Okolona High School, coaching football and basketball along side former Mississippi State University coach Bob Tyler.
He would then move on to Beaumont High School, where he coached baseball and basketball for three years, before moving to nearby Utica High School, where he was involved in coaching basketball, football and track and field.
In 1975, Gray moved to Brookhaven Academy, where for 25 years he serve in a variety of roles, including headmaster and coach, including stints as the boys head basketball coach for six years and head football coach for four years. The gymnasium at Brookhaven Academy is named “The John R. Gray Gymnasium” in his honor.
His 1981 boys basketball team at Brookhaven Academy captured the Mississippi Private School Association (MPSA) state tournament crown at East Rankin Academy in his hometown of Pelahatchie.
Gray also served as an administrator and basketball coach at Adams County Christian School in Natchez for six years, a basketball coach at Centreville Academy for two years and is currently employed as an assistant principle at Enterprise Attendance Center.
Gray was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Independent School (MAIS) Hall of Fame in 2002. He is a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Brookhaven and is a former member of the MPSA Athletic Committee, board of directors of Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce.
Gray resides in Brookhaven with his wife, the former Alice Marie Allen of Mendenhall, who like Gray, was a student at Hinds from 1956-1958 and was a member of the nationally renowned Hi-Stepper dance team. The couple has two sons Ricky and wife Gail Gray, Barry and wife Lindy Gray, both coaching girls basketball, and four grandchildren: Alan, Alex, John and Mary Katherine.
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