Article Comment 

Making the case for Coach Roy

 

 

About a year ago I sat on an airplane somewhere on the west coast eager to get back home after a few days of hard work. At some point between our taxi and takeoff I reached for my USA Today and began to read. 

 

I skimmed through the typical headlines. I let out a slight yawn as I turned the page and BAM, it hit me! It was an article about the stellar football program in Batesville, MS and the one million dollar turf they installed to limit bumps and bruises as the South Panola High School football team walked all over opponents. OK, it didn''t exactly say that, but that''s what I gathered nonetheless. It was a difficult moment for me emotionally. I was one part excited that a program from Mississippi was being featured in a national newspaper and two parts infuriated as I thought about the glory days of Columbus High School football!  

 

I was very fortunate to play under the best group of football coaches CHS has ever employed. Roy McCrory and staff took over the football program at CHS in 1997 after a string of losing seasons dating back to 1992. The pre-Roy era was a "good ol boy" system that retained incompetent coaches just because they had years in the school system. CHS hadn''t won more than five games and the idea of our football team advancing to the post-season was about as crazy as pigs flying! However, with a lot of patience, even more hard work, and a winning attitude Roy and his staff built one of the best programs in the state by 2000 (ranked as high as #5 in the state). So, why was Roy McCrory the most successful coach in CHS history?  

 

I am sure you if you asked a handful of players, teachers, coaches, and administrators that question, you''d get a handful of different answers. But since I have the floor my answer will have to do for now! Coach McCrory worked extremely hard to make sure we had every opportunity to succeed. During the summers his staff worked everyday ... yes everyday! They opened the weight room from 7-11 a.m., took lunch until about 2 p.m., and did odd jobs (installing sprinkler systems, laying turf, painting fields) around the stadium until 4 p.m. when the weight room re-opened for evening workouts. Parents that had sons on his team and wives that had husbands on his staff knew exactly where to find their kids/husbands during the summer.  

 

Coach McCrory didn''t make excuses! Since I graduated from college in 2005 I have been back to Columbus every fall at least once to catch a game. Unfortunately, as you probably know by now, I have witnessed more defeats than victories. Occasionally I have had the opportunity to ask a coach or two about our issues as a program and I got the same lame answer every time, "These kids are so much different than you guys were." Seriously? South Panola, in a city of 8,000 sitting on 11 square miles of earth, ripped off 5 consecutive state crowns from 2003-2007! How did they manage to keep cookie cutter kids for all those years? What magic potion did they use? It''s quite simple, coaching! 

 

Coach McCrory cared about his kids. "Care" in this instance isn''t referring to the genuine concern for the well being of the kids in the program. I know, without doubt, that every coach to ever walk the sidelines at CHS has cared for the football players he coached. Instead I''d like focus on the relationships he made over the years and used during his time at CHS to get his players into college. His contact list was extensive and college scouts and coaches lived in our weight room. He never met a college coach he didn''t like or establish a bond with. There were small schools and big schools, private schools and public schools all wanting a piece of the action. Most of us were lucky and had the opportunity, whether we accepted or graciously declined, to play college football at some level. This was his greatest strength. He cared more about our future than he did wins or losses. But he understood that for most of us, being a part of a winning program was the first step toward securing the personal futures we all dreamed of achieving. Some of us might never have thought about higher education if not for the visiting college coaches that spoke to us regularly about the importance of succeeding in the classroom and the advantages that came with a college degree.  

 

I could go on and on for days about why Coach McCrory was successful. But the most important message I''d like to convey is that a winning program in Columbus is essential. It is relevant to parents, kids, and our community as a whole! Parents with young children in the system have the most to lose. If immediate action is not taken to change the conventional mind-set and establish a winning culture in Columbus, your kids will be in the same position (consecutive losing seasons) in six or seven years! Consider this, if Dan Mullen or Houston Nutt put two .500 seasons back to back we''d all be demanding a coaching change! This is incredible because most of us don''t even have step cousins in either of those programs! So why shouldn''t we be as enthusiastic about our high school football program? The athletes on the field wearing the mighty purple and gold are our sons, brothers, and real cousins! I think they deserve the same dedication we lend to the college programs in our area. I''m sure it might only take one .500 season at South Panola before a coaching change was made! 

 

Jonathan Lewis, Columbus High Class of 2001

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment chris commented at 10/8/2009 7:39:00 AM:

This guy knows what he is talking about!!! As a parent, it is extremely frustrating to sit back & feel helpless as you watch your kids dreams go up in smoke. When a player has obvious talent but no supporting cast..what do you do?? Everyone wants to blame losing on the fball players, but they are NOT the problem. Even one good coach can't make a winning team. There HAS to be good assistant coaches as well. Administration has to realize this and give the head coaches the support staff they need. The past present and future football players are the ones who suffer!!!!!

 

Article Comment Gwen Stovall commented at 10/8/2009 7:42:00 AM:

Thanks Jonathan, Your article was well written and on point. Two years of losing is "ENOUGH". Coach Daryl Jones had two years here, returned to Jackson, coaching Calloway Chargers, doing great,he was let go, and he had a much better record, just imagine where we, CHS, would be if........

 

Article Comment c/o ''94 commented at 10/8/2009 10:23:00 PM:

Check out the full story in the Columbus Packet (letter to the editor)and also visit: www.hireroymccrory.com

 

Article Comment Falcon 01 commented at 10/9/2009 12:02:00 AM:

www.hireroymccrory.com

 

Article Comment CHS fan commented at 10/9/2009 9:33:00 AM:

I find all this very interesting. Is my memory failing me? I don't recall McCrory being made to leave - I thought it was of his own free will.

So why did he leave?

 

Article Comment c/o ''94 commented at 10/9/2009 10:30:00 AM:

do u think he would have left if offered 100,000 a year in salary. the point is whether he was urged out or wanted to leave how do u let that kind of coach walk out on a school district. the record speaks for itself and is very clear on his history at CHS. i heard that there was a rift between then principle Williford and the running of the football facilities, but that's neither here nor there.

 

Article Comment c/o ''94 commented at 10/9/2009 1:24:00 PM:

do u think he would have left if offered 100,000 a year in salary. the point is whether he was urged out or wanted to leave how do u let that kind of coach walk out on a school district. the record speaks for itself and is very clear on his history at CHS. i heard that there was a rift between then principle Williford and the running of the football facilities, but that's neither here nor there.

 

Article Comment Abraham commented at 10/10/2009 7:18:00 AM:

I am a parent who has had two sons to play football during grade school years (7th through 12th), but they did not play at Columbus High. And I have watched many other high school football games and talked with several coaches over the years. And one of those coaches was Roy McCrory.

In one conversation, I remember him telling me how he got tutors for his players. When mothers complained how their sons were disobedient in the home, he would use his influence to change that situation. So I guess that helped to make a greater bond with the parents. Coach McCrory believed in going the second mile. And players, parents, and everyone else will always respond to that kind of "care".

But Roy McCrory brought his brother, John, with him and I think he was important to the success of Columbus as well. So I guess "caring" ran in the family.

 

Article Comment www.hireroymccrory.com commented at 10/11/2009 5:28:00 AM:

Great point! I think that's the message we need to get out to the community!

 

Article Comment Robert Cunning commented at 10/11/2009 9:56:00 PM:

Out with the old and in with the new.Yes we can

 

Article Comment hireroymccrory.com commented at 10/12/2009 2:06:00 AM:

IT'S TIME FOR ACTION:

WHAT: A RALLY TO SHOW OUR DISGUST

WHEN: NOV. 7

WHERE: WORKING A LOCATION

WHY: BECAUSE COLUMBUS IS FED UP WITH THE TERRIBLE COACHING STAFF AT CHS!

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

VISIT WWW.HIREROYMCCRORY.COM ASAP and donate any resources that will help our cause!

IT'S TIME FOR ACTION!!

 

Article Comment ridiculous commented at 10/13/2009 11:05:00 AM:

I think all of you are being a bit ridiculous. First of all, if you want to start comparing,the current coaches were at the field everyday this summer as well, working with the kids, working on the fields, etc. Also, I know for a fact that the current coach pays money out of his own pocket on these kids because he "CARES". The kids have to "CARE" is the problem. If these coaches didn't have to use their coaching time to discipline these kids, maybe things could be different. These kids don't want to be a team. If they did, they wouldn't start fights before or after every game. These kids have to be a team, before they can be a successful football team. Coaches can only do so much. Parents need to start doing their part and quit putting blame on the teachers and coaches! Also, this rally you are talking about having...is crazy. We have homeless, hungry people living right here in Columbus, MS and you are promoting the sell of tshirts, etc for a man? What is this money going towards? How about donating your money to a good cause such as shelters or Red Cross. I think it is about time some of you get your priorities straight! You are teaching your kids that they should ALWAYS win at everything. I hate to awaken you, but you aren't going to always win at everything in LIFE and they need to know and learn that.

 

Article Comment chs fan commented at 10/13/2009 11:34:00 AM:

And as always ridiculos, you missed the entire point. do me a big favor and read the article in the packet and you will be enlightened, hopefully, on why we sell t-shirts and are having a rally. its not about a man, its about a movement. it doesn't matter who you get as a coach, just get one that produces. one thing that you cant dispute is wins=exposure and exposure=opportunity and opportunity=futures,especially for those less fortunate than others that only have football as a vehicle to get them to become productive future individuals. the money is going towards the effort to maximize the chances of our youths in columbus to be successful in the future and not homeless and hungry as you refer to. i been there and done that, have you!!! thats why we are so passionate at what we do. i ask u to look at the totality of the circumstances and consider getting on board.

 

Article Comment ridiculous commented at 10/13/2009 12:21:00 PM:

You still haven't answered my question - whose hands is the money going in?? Also, in order for our youth to have a chance, they have got to want it for themselves. A lot of these kids don't want it for themselves, they expect it handed to them. I also know that the current coaches spend their own money and time on these kids, and what do they get in return? - fights and disrespect because parents can't teach their kids what a team really is!

 

Article Comment chs fan commented at 10/13/2009 12:53:00 PM:

the money isn't going in any hands, if u would visit www.hireroymccrory.com it will explain to you that the money raised will be going towards a newspaper ad or billboard. everything is in black and white with no gimmicks. i agree that some kids have issues, but these are the same kids from 2001 the only difference is that these are the siblings of the mccrory era. i challange you to go back to that era and do research and see how many of those fights and disruptions you had. very few, and why? Mccrory and his staff brought a new way of living, playing, and thinking to this team. fights and disrespect have been going on in the locker rooms since the invention of the game, from peewee to highschool, college to the pro's. the difference is being the ultimate leader that you were hired to be as a COACH!!!! TEACH THESE KIDS HOW TO BE A TEAM, DEMAND THAT THESE KIDS BE A TEAM. DON'T GIVE UP ON THE KIDS BECAUSE OF LACK OF COMING TOGETHER AS A TEAM. guess what, when mccrory got here his first year he had the same disrespect, fights,and selfishness and look wht he did in 3 yrs. he did't make excuses, he made a powerhouse 5A division football TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he had his team wearing shirt and ties on game day, he took those same disrespectful kids that you once again refer to, and convinced them to be different. he had his athletes counseling other problem students in school and being active in the community and because of his COACHING and "CARING" in 2001 17 0f 21 seniors who were these disrespectful kids, as you refer, had an opportunity to sign with the next level and play college ball.

That's coaching!!!!

 

Article Comment chs fan commented at 10/13/2009 12:56:00 PM:

the money isn't going in any hands, if u would visit www.hireroymccrory.com it will explain to you that the money raised will be going towards a newspaper ad or billboard. everything is in black and white with no gimmicks. i agree that some kids have issues, but these are the same kids from 2001 the only difference is that these are the siblings of the mccrory era. i challange you to go back to that era and do research and see how many of those fights and disruptions you had. very few, and why? Mccrory and his staff brought a new way of living, playing, and thinking to this team. fights and disrespect have been going on in the locker rooms since the invention of the game, from peewee to highschool, college to the pro's. the difference is being the ultimate leader that you were hired to be as a COACH!!!! TEACH THESE KIDS HOW TO BE A TEAM, DEMAND THAT THESE KIDS BE A TEAM. DON'T GIVE UP ON THE KIDS BECAUSE OF LACK OF COMING TOGETHER AS A TEAM. guess what, when mccrory got here his first year he had the same disrespect, fights,and selfishness and look wht he did in 3 yrs. he did't make excuses, he made a powerhouse 5A division football TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he had his team wearing shirt and ties on game day, he took those same disrespectful kids that you once again refer to, and convinced them to be different. he had his athletes counseling other problem students in school and being active in the community and because of his COACHING and "CARING" in 2001 17 0f 21 seniors who were these disrespectful kids, as you refer, had an opportunity to sign with the next level and play college ball.

That's coaching!!!!

 

Article Comment Falcon supporter commented at 10/13/2009 1:46:00 PM:

Excuse me... but you keep going on and on about Roy McCrory. I mean no disrespect - but have you ever looked at Bubba Davis' record? Sure, he might not have winning seasons now - but neither did McCrory. As CHS fan wrote, it took him 3 seasons. Coach Davis hasn't been at CHS for 2 complete seasons so frankly, I don't understand what difference it makes.

And good grief - the people who were complaining about the coaches cussing? Really? That's a NEW thing? This coaching staff is the only staff that's ever cussed at the team? I've been hearing about coaches cussing for years - and I didn't even grow up in this town.

Some people... ain't got nothing better to do than stir up some mess.

I'm just very curious about why McCrory is going to leave his farm and come coach again. Or is he?

 

Article Comment chs fan 2 commented at 10/13/2009 2:09:00 PM:

WOW! Ridiculous! "These kids", "these kids", "these kids"! You talk as if the student athletes were a breed of animals or a group livestock. Please have a little bit of respect for the students in discussing them! Besides discipline and money is not the answer to solve this problem. Buying the students over using money and performing extensive variations of disciplinary measures will not better the circumstances at CHS. Smaller characteristics such as being influential, inspirational, determined for success,and just downright motivated will be helpful in CHS's rebuilding process! Coaches have to make students buy into the program using these simple characteristics, not buying uniforms and gear or running crazy amounts of wind sprints at practice. This is Proven by Daryl Jones, who began to rebuild CHS before leaving(07-08 seasons). His team never fought before or after football games period under any circumstances! Please explain why this was able to happen ridiculous... COACHING! COACHING! COACHING!

 

Article Comment chs fan commented at 10/13/2009 2:48:00 PM:

yes falcon supporter i know davis' record and i have alot of respect for him in that aspect, but i'm concerned with the last two seasons and the kids in Columbus, not west point. And you are right roy's first season was not a winning one but let me show you the difference. roy came to a team that was in almost the same shape it's in now, playing teams that were similiar then to the one's now.

Difference being:
Roy's record at CHS,
(1997) 3-7
(1998) 4-6
(1999) 7-3, CHS defeats the #1 South Panola University( the same South Panola that davis refered to as a Goliath and his team as David) and first playoff appearance in CHS history
(2000) 10-3 and first playoff win in CHS history

now u really have to be either blind or just out right ignoring the difference in the two. Even Jones had more success with the little time he was here and he won a playoff game.

It aint mess, its FACTS, GO CHECK IT OUT. And once again my stance is that if not Roy, someone on the same level as Roy and that has turned a program around like Roy did. the facts are there, read them.

 

Article Comment chs fan commented at 10/13/2009 3:00:00 PM:

I played football at CHS, i went thru those years when winning meant nothing. i was there in the trenches day after day, friday night after friday night when it was ok to lose and i was told that winning isn't everything. i was one of the ones that had to walk on to a college program and fight hard because our coaches had that attitude. have u ever played and if so what year. this is coming from someone who was there before the mccrory era, who thought that CHS would never win. Its so much more than x's and o's and that's what people are missing. winning has positive affects on every aspect of the CHS system. every aspect, being other sports, money for books, money for transportation, and over all the most important oportunities for the people that the school was made for, THE STUDENTS. IT IS SO MUCH MORE THAT FOOTBALL, ITS BEING SUCCESSFUL AT WHATEVER U DO, HENCEFORTH, WINNING IS EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT, GO GET ON A REAL FOOTBALL TEAM WITH A REAL COACH AND U WILL UNDERSTAND IT.

 

Article Comment Feed up! commented at 10/13/2009 5:51:00 PM:

Yes he did pay his money out of his pocket, or so it was made to seem, for his players to pass summer school. If he had been montioring their grades all year long he would not have been in that spot. Discipline that is a joke. He put one of the biggest dope smokers in a commerical representing his football program, the kid is also going with one of the teachers and you talk about respect. A coach who cares about his players do not call them stupid, lazy, sorry, a SOB. or a MF. As far as time is concern Jones turn the program around in 2 years. A coach that teaches his teaming discipline do not have fighting, bad attitudes, disrespectful players. Let's face your know nothing Superintendent and his million dollar coaching staff needs to go their services are no longer needed.

 

Article Comment www.hireroymccrory.com commented at 10/14/2009 12:13:00 AM:

Ridiculous, I see your name also applies to your logic and argument. CHS has finished at the bottom of the district only one time since 1997 and even then they went 3-7 (2002)!! The coaching staff at CHS has our kids on the way to two back to back seasons at the bottom of the district. See, this is why you have to know the facts. This isn't just about a bunch of "mess"! It's about our kids! And how dare you blame the kids and parents and blah blah blah. What about the other successful programs? Do they have kids that come straight from heaven? I guess our kids are made by the devil and there is no hope so we should just get used to losing! Hopefully you see how RIDICULOUS your argument is. You never blame the kids! I'm glad that the coaching staff spent money for the kids, but it didn't work so now they need to go. And falcon supporter, this coach will have the worst first two seasons in school history. Why should parents and real supporters have to take that? Coaching is a "what have you done for me lately" business. Anyone see what they're doing to Bobby Bowden down at Florida State? He STARTED that football program down there and only trails Joe Paterno in total wins and they trying to run him off! And we are defending a staff for past wins? We are smarter than this! Right?

 

Article Comment hireroymccroy.com commented at 10/14/2009 1:17:00 AM:

FYI:

In two years at CHS Coach Jones went 9-12 (75%)with a playoff appearance in his second yr

In two years at Callaway Coach Jones is 10-7 so far. 4-6 last yr and 6-1 so far this yr.

Callaway went a combined 10-20 from 2005-2007 before Coach Jones got there. With seasons of 3-7, 2-8, and 5-5

Compare that to our record. What makes Columbus so different? Are we gonna blame it on the kids again? When you do the research you see how awful this coaching staff is!

 

Article Comment curious commented at 10/14/2009 8:19:00 AM:

I am just wondering...has Roy McCrory for sure stated he would come back to Columbus or is all this a "hope" for him to come back? He left on his own before, so is all this in vein? I would want something in writing from him stating he would come back before I went through all this other effort.

 

Article Comment Columbus High Parent commented at 10/14/2009 11:56:00 AM:

To be honest about the whole Columbus is losing in every sport except Basketball with Sammy Smith. I say we need to concentrate on the entire athlethic program. It is sad the only sport Phil and the school board cares about is football. That is the only sport you see them at. Mrs. Hardin was correct in her observation about our sports program we should have listened to her before we slept with Phillips the DEVIL!

 

Article Comment curious commented at 10/14/2009 4:07:00 PM:

Can anyone answer my question? Jonathan - you were so good at answering and responding to all these other comments, can you answer my last one?

 

Article Comment Jonathan Lewis commented at 10/15/2009 12:42:00 AM:

Curious,
Do I know you? But ok, let's just say Roy said he'd rather not come back. We still need a coaching change, right? C'mon you're a smart guy/girl! Please agree that a new coach couldn't do any worse than one win in two seasons...right? And I promise, if his replacement puts up the same numbers, I'll be just as adamant in two years about another coaching change! Hopefully you still think I'm "so good at answering and responding" to comments!

Jonathan

 

Article Comment Realist commented at 10/15/2009 8:19:00 PM:

Jonathan,

Please rethink what you're doing. You say you're doing this for the kids. The kids are the ones you're hurting right now. Even if you feel you had a reason to want to get rid of the coaches, no mature, reasonable person would get on the Internet and predict the players would not win any more games. Your expectations are the ones that are low. You are totally wrong for doing what you're doing. If this is what you learned in the Army and from a football staff, then who would want to be associated with either? I don't believe your irrational behavior has anything to do with poor training or Coach McCroy, but your arrogance.

Good leaders think through their actions and sometimes they admit when they've acted stupidly. How about it?

I do support the current coaches. Based on some of your remarks, you don't know much about any of them.



 

Article Comment Jonathan Lewis commented at 10/16/2009 1:02:00 AM:

Realist,
Let's agree that your entire post is based on the fact that I said the kids wouldn't win another game this year. Please scroll through the 27 comments before yours and find where I said that. Until you find that then your entire comment is based on a lie and all the stuff about me being immature, irrational, and unreasonable is just garbage.

So I'll just use this space to say what I've been saying for the last week or so. It's about our kids! Let's not make this like a political debate where we spend time making up stuff and forget what the issue is. Our kids deserve better. It's about our kids, not Jonathan Lewis. With the right coaching we can be a respected program in our state. Wins draw attention from colleges. Some of the kids on our team, especially with our economy, can't even dream of college without a scholarship. These are the FACTS. It's not personal. It's about the kids and the opportunities a winning program can provide. And please remember, it's about the kids!

Jonathan Lewis

 

Article Comment CHS Student commented at 10/16/2009 11:07:00 AM:

People! People! That is not fair! Really? Name calling? Between grown adults, taking shots at jonathan for trying to simply help kids! How childish is that to lash out a person who is trying to better a situation... Stop taking the topic so personally! lets not make it personal because that is how things begin to spoil! No one has the right to throw stones at a person just because he/she does not agree with that person! Learn how to debate correctly! Name calling is not going to help the situation! think about these questions for a second... Have you ever been apart of a team that went 1-10? Have you ever had to go to school and deal with your peers with a 1-10 record? Have you ever been a student that trys to support a team and be school spirited, but has your spirits crushed because the team is not producing? Have you ever been a band member, palm squad member, cheerleader, color guard member, or ROTC member that puts a uniform on every Fri night to have a team loose constantly? Have you every went out in public and felt embarrassed to represent a team that you put some much pride into? Have you ever been that person who has dealt with every single of these questions? If not, just imagine becasue that is what students deal with! that is not a good feeling! Please stop bad mouthing a man who is only trying to help us! No, i might not agree with everything that he is trying to do! But yes, I do agree with him trying to make a change and help out our football players and students out as a whole!

 

Article Comment sd commented at 10/16/2009 1:55:00 PM:

Well said CHS student. Unfortunately, yes, I know exactly what it feels like to be part of a losing team. There's really no word to describe the sick miserable feeling you get every Friday nite. Back to back seasons 1-9 & 0-10 and still counting....Don't know what the answer is to the problem, but seems like all the people who seem to care and try to do something, get shot down or labeled as complainers and troublemakers. Everyone wants to sit around and complain, but no one wants to take action. Our kids so deserve better.

 

Article Comment CHS Femalestudent commented at 10/18/2009 5:06:00 PM:

No it is not a good feeling to go to school everyday and fellow students make fun of you. It realy make you wonder if the members of the school board and Dr. Phillips really care about us a students and athletes. As a softball player you play day in and day out and never see the Superintendent or the Mayor at your games but you see them every Friday night on the football sideline. The softball faculity is embarassaing. I thought that our colors are purple and gold, but we have a GREEN pressbox/storage shed. No concession stand. There is one over behind the school just sitting there. You would think that they would move it over to the softball field. But no I guess we are just girls. We have to change in the baseball bathroom or outside, because we do not want to go over to the fieldhouse where boys and coaches are. We go to a school that only has one state championship and that is in track. I wish people who say they care for kids start showing it.

 

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