In recent weeks, we have looked back at the top 15 most memorable games and top teams from Gibson County. Today, we look back at the top 15 coaching jobs done by a coach in a Gibson County area high school.
1. Catie Embrey (South Gibson girls basketball) – In her second year in charge of the Lady Hornets, Embrey helped lead the team to its first-ever state tournament appearance. South Gibson also won a quarterfinal game to reach the Class 3A semifinals.
2. Ron Abernathy (Humboldt boys basketball) – In 2022, the Vikings missed the region tournament in a rare occurrence. So how did Abernathy and the Vikings respond? Humboldt bounced back with an appearance in the Class 1A state quarterfinals after finishing runner-up in District 14-1A and Region 7-1A.
3. Todd Sheppard (Gibson County volleyball) – Sheppard made program history as he led the Lady Pioneers to the Class A state tournament for the first time. Gibson County went on the road to beat Lakeland Prep 3-2 in a sectional match after finishing as the District 13-A and Region 7-A runner-up.
4. Greg Scott (Milan baseball) – For the first time since 2004, the Bulldogs played for a state championship. Scott helped Milan reach the Class 2A state title game and finished runner-up to Union County. Milan was the District 12-2A and Region 6-2A champion.
5. Michael Hart (Peabody girls basketball) – After missing the state tournament last season, Hart helped lead the Lady Tide to the Class 1A state quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons. Peabody was the District 14-1A champion and Region 7-1A runner-up.
6. Rebecca Paterson (Milan volleyball) – Paterson led the Lady Bulldogs to a historic season in her first season in charge. She helped Milan win a district semifinal for the first time in program history and earned a spot in the region semifinals for the first time.
7. Derek Carr (Milan football) – Carr led the Bulldogs to a nine-win season, which included a berth into the Class 4A quarterfinals after finishing second in Region 7-4A. Milan started the season 4-0, but after a three-game skid, Carr helped Milan win five straight games to reach the quarterfinals.
8. Mitch Wilkins (Gibson County girls basketball) – Wilkins led the Lady Pioneers back the Class 2A state tournament and into the state semifinals – even with the graduation of a two-time Miss Basketball finalist. Gibson County won 28 games and was the only team to beat Class 2A state champion Westview.
9. Keith Runyon (South Gibson boys basketball) – With a tough early season schedule, Runyon helped the Hornets win games when it mattered most. South Gibson won the District 12-3A championship and reached the Class 3A sectionals before being eliminated. The Hornets finished with a 16-15 record.
10. Jake Ramsey (Peabody baseball) – Ramsey helped lead the Golden Tide to 34 wins and a spot in the Class 1A semifinals. Peabody was dominant against Class 1A teams this season – outside of Eagleville. He helped Peabody walk through the District 14-1A and Region 7-1A tournaments along with two mercy-ruled wins in the Class 1A sectionals.
11. Jason James (Milan boys basketball) – After leading the Bulldogs to the Class 2A state championship game in 2022, James backed it up with a berth in the Region 6-2A semifinals, despite losing the team’s leading scorer in the final two weeks of the season. Milan beat Gibson County to earn the No. 1 seed in the District 12-2A tournament and then won the tournament on the way to reaching the region semifinals.
12. Justin Lowery (Gibson County boys basketball) – Lowery helped lead the Pioneers to the Class 2A sectionals for the second straight season, and this time Gibson County won the Region 6-2A championship for the right to host the sectional. Gibson County won 21 games last season.
13. Ben Johnson (South Gibson football) – After an opening loss in Region 7-4A play, the Hornets fought back to earn the No. 3 seed in the region and reached the Class 4A second round before being eliminated by Haywood. South Gibson finished the year with seven wins.
14. Lin Cates (South Gibson baseball) – Cates led the Hornets back to the Class 3 A state tournament for the second straight season. South Gibson won the District 12-3A and Region 6-3A championships on the way to reaching the state tournament with 30 wins on the season.
15. Addy Byars (Milan girls basketball) – Byars might not have reached the state tournament, but she helped to turn the girls basketball program around. Milan won five games, but the level of play got better through fundamentals.