A new class of twenty-five exemplary leaders are selected for fellowship that invests in the work of Mississippi’s best high school and middle school coaches

The Mississippi Excellence in Coaching Fellowship announced the 25 Coaches who have been selected for the 2023-24 class. The Coaching Fellowship, also known as Tomorrow’s 25, is hosted by the University of Mississippi School of Education in partnership with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) and the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA). Its mission is to annually select and invest in 25 coaches from across the state who have been deemed an emerging leader in the area of high school and middle school athletics.

All 25 candidates were identified by a selection committee and represent the best the state has to offer. Final selections had to represent the values of the coaching fellowship – love of young people and a desire to develop them for life within the context of sports – and had to be diverse in gender, ethnicity, sport, and region of the state. Serving on this year’s selection committee were Celeste Bramlett (Madison Central), Issac Boose (Oxford), Holly Moncrief (Brandon), Dr. Cheyenne Trussell (Meridian), and Averie Bush (Harrison County).

Over the course of 10 months, coaches will travel five times to the MAC/MHSAA’s headquarters in Clinton for in-person class, while the other five sessions are done virtually. The goals for each session of the coaching fellowship are to assist in three areas of growth for each candidate:

  1. Coaching the Whole Athlete (Leadership, Resilience, Empathy, and Responsibility) – Each participant will be able to implement all sessions’ materials at their current school and share with their colleagues.
  2. Opportunity to network with 24 of their peers who have demonstrated the capacity to be our state’s future leaders in athletics.
  3. Access to current leaders in the MHSAA, MAC, Higher Ed, College Athletics, and “potentially” Pro Athletics to learn how they can grow their spheres of influence in their communities and across the state.

The first session was held on August 16th, and the coaches are nearing their sixth class session which will be held in Clinton on January 31st. This year’s class of coaches will officially finish the program in mid-May.

Coach Katelyn Robbins, the assistant girls’ soccer coach at New Albany High School was selected to as an inaugural class member of Tomorrow’s 25.

Dr. Hunter Taylor is the founding director of the Mississippi Excellence in Coaching Fellowship and also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Mississippi. Before making the leap into academia, Taylor spent 10 years as a men’s basketball coach on the college, high school, middle school, and international levels. He began his coaching career in Jackson Public Schools.

“We cannot thank Johnny Mims of the MAC and Rickey Neaves of the MHSAA enough for their unconditional support of this transformative program,” said Taylor. “We are intent on making this something that elevates the state of Mississippi by investing in one of its best assets – our high school and middle school coaches.”