Gerald Glass Sr., the two-time state championship coach for the Amanda Elzy Panthers, will once again be roaming the sidelines as he has been named the boys basketball coach at J.Z. George High School.
Glass, a former professional basketball player who was hired just before the school year starting as an assistant with the football team, will step in for LeQuell Allen, who coached both the girls and boys teams last season.
Allen is the commander of the Canton Army National Guard, and they will be preparing for a deployment in the near future. He felt like it was best for both teams that he step away because of the time he’ll miss with the National Guard preparing for the deployment.
Glass last coached basketball from 2014-16 at Madison Central High School. He led the Jaguars to the state title game in his first season, losing to Starkville.
Following his stint in Madison, he was out of coaching for a little more than a year, working for Cannon Motors in Oxford. Before coming to J.Z. George, he was on staff at Greenwood Middle School.
“I just want to come in and continue what Coach Allen got started and encourage these boys to get better,” said Glass, who led Amanda Elzy to State 3A championships in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. “I had eventually planned on getting back into coaching. I really appreciate Coach (Rusty) Smith and Coach (Nathan) Moncrief for giving me this opportunity to be a part of their staff.
“When I was hired at J.Z. George, I was just helping with football and assisting with boys basketball and track in the spring. Now, I’ll be serving as head coach for the varsity and junior high teams. With the way this year has gone, it’s really hard to know what to expect. I had tryouts last week and only two boys showed up. Of course, a lot of them are still playing football, and I think a few are doing distance learning. It’s going to be one day at a time.”
Smith is the head football coach, and Moncrief is the assistant principal and athletic director at J.Z. George.
Glass compiled a 100-37 overall record in his five years at Elzy. His first team in 2009-10 was only 12-14, but the Panthers improved to 20-10 in his second season, getting knocked out of the North 4A Tournament in the first round.
It all began to come together in the 2011-12 season as they won 14 of their last 15 games, beating Corinth 56-47 in the title game. The Panthers returned a bevy of talent the next season and rolled to their second straight championship as they finished 31-5 and topped Corinth 59-41 in the final game of the season.
Glass coached one more season at Elzy during the state takeover as the Panthers went 10-3.
“I have an opportunity to do something I really love,” Glass said. “I’m looking forward to this season. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’re going to work hard and do the best we can.”
The Jaguars were 9-15 last season.
With Allen also giving up the girls team, the Lady Jaguars will now be under the direction of Yvonna Macon. A graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, she is currently in a Master of Arts in teaching secondary program.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be a first-year coach,” said Macon, who played junior high and varsity basketball at Starkville High School from 2008-14. “My mission is to inspire and empower athletes to reach their greatest potential and develop them into leaders on and off the court.
“I want to leave an effect on each of my players and push them to achieve their goals,” Macon added. “I’m expecting to have a team of 11 girls. We started practice Thursday to get ready for the upcoming season.”
J.Z. George is scheduled to start its season Nov. 7 at the Grenada High Cancer Classic.
• Contact Calvin Stevens at 581-7234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.