The fourth member of the Hall of Fame who influenced me. I can best describe as loyal. When I left Humphreys it took me to July to find another job. I was actually doing odd jos int he area when coach Bill Hurst called me. A good friend of mine, who was the girl's basketball coach, had left to work at Sanderson Farms. Coach Hurst had called Mr. Johnny Gray from Brookhaven Academy and asked him if he knew of anyone looking for a job. At that time the MAIS had a list of people who were looking for jobs. Mr. Johnny looked at the list and said if the Eddie Miller that is on this list is the one from Humphreys; I would talk to him. He is one of Dale's boys. I remember coach Hurst from my time of being a manager for the football team at Parklane. He was pretty intimidating. When I called him back he said when can you meet me at Centreville and let's get this thing worked out ofr you to be my next coach. We met that night and he hired me.
It was an adjustment girl's basketball was a real afterthought at Centreville. The patrons told me my main responsibility was to keep them in shape for track. Working for coach Hurst was a great situation. Coach Hurst put me in the classroom, instead of PE, which I enjoyed. Another source of knowledge was coach Keith Wicker. He taught me the ins and outs of Centreville. He showed me how much the patrons respected hard work. During that first year coach Hurst stated coach you have done a good job this year. You can have a job at Centreville as long as you want a job here. He said that I could be thrown in jail and they could have all the evidence in the world against you. He said if I told him I didn't do it that he would believe me and we would fight our way through the problem.
I coached both of his girls in basketball. His youngest Kimberly was very talented. She was one of the best shooters that I had coached. She never said a word did whatever was ever asked of her. She just needed a little self confidence. I feel sorry for her because she came through a rough time during the basketball program at Centreville.
I also coached Kelli she was the single toughest player I have ever coached. That includes girls and boys and any sport. I had the job at Centreville for two weeks. The girls had already paid for a team camp at Southwest; so we went. The first game we played was against the Jena Lady Giants. Ten seconds into the game she dives into a pile to get a loose ball. She comes out of the pile with her teeth dangling. She had knocked them loose. I had her bite down on a towel wrapped around my thumb and put them back in place. I thought I was about to get fired. She played the rest of the week and we ended up winning the division 2 championship. She was the best on the ball defender I have ever coached. I hate that her last game ended with her having a bulls eye on her back. Every time she was in the game she would pick up a foul. I hated to see her last game end this way.
This was also the time that Parklane asked to interview me. Coach Hurst told me you interview tomorrow moving at 7:30, I got you a sub, and the board approved you a raise. I go to meet with Mr. Swindle and he offers me the same amount that I would be making at Centreville with the raise. It was a hard decision. The thing that finally tilted me to stay was coach Hurst. I just always felt like it was the place for me.
I swear he missed his calling he should have been an interrogator for the FBI. One time a group of boys had decided to cut up in my class. We went to the office and I asked him how he wanted me to handle the situation. He slammed his paddle on the desk and said he didn't have time for this he had football practice. The boys started singing like canaries. One of the funnies things that happened involved fans from Central Private. I was up in the press box we were loaded and beating them pretty bad. One fan from Central Private asked why can't we run those good plays like Centreville; like it had nothing to do with the fact that we were loaded. One thing I never figured out was why no coaches lived in Centreville. One time coach Newlon stopped by the school. We asked why he was there; he said his car had broke down last night coming back from the WCCA jamboree. He said he was going to call one of us but realized none of us lived there.
Coach Hurst and I had gone through a lot in my six years at Centreville. The loss to Canton in South State; where we ran the Notre Dame box at the end to almost win. I can still here Flip Godfrey say watch #5 if he goes down he is going down with his son having the ball. I can remember the time we beat Prep. Coach Jason Brabham tells a great story about our tailback Derrick Tate; saying I thought I couldn't carry the ball one more time numerous times, and our last game together the state championship win against Carroll. There is no doubt if I would not have moved to Baton Rouge; I never would have left Centreville. Thanks Coach Hurst for being the loyal headmaster that you were.