Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017 loaded with coaching legends

Beverly Coleman, former Harrison Central basketball standout
Beverly Coleman, former Harrison Central basketball standout Submitted

The Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame announced 12 inductees for the class of 2017 on Thursday.

John Adams, Beverly Coleman, Patrick Davis, Roman Grace, Jessie Harrison, Richard Harvey Sr., Eddie Ladner, John May, Ted Miller, Frank Pilate, Leon Regal, and Steve Smith comprise the Class of 2017.

An award ceremony and banquet will be held at 7 p.m. on June 10 at Lyman Community Center.

Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame committee Vice President Prince Jones is pleased with the city’s fourth class.

“There’s so many good athletes in Gulfport to choose from,” Jones said. “We haven’t touched the ones in their 30’s and 40’s.

Here’s a brief look at the inductees:

John Adams: All Big 8 basketball at Gulfport High until graduating in 1964 and played at Belhaven College.

Beverly Coleman: Girls’ basketball star at Harrison Central High until graduating in 1978, later played two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and South Alabama.

Patrick Davis: Track star at Gulfport High from seventh grade until graduating in 1989. Later became track star at Mississippi State.

Roman Grace: A three-year starting offensive lineman at Gulfport High, graduating in 1978. Became four-year starter at MSU, All-SEC.

Jesse Harrison: Lettered in football, baseball and track at Gulfport High from 1945 to 1950. Signed with Mississippi State College.

Richard Harvey Sr.: Played defensive back at 33rd Avenue School, graduating in 1965. A three-year starter at Jackson State, later played with the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Buffalo. Son, Richard Jr. starred at Pascagoula and in the NFL.

Eddie Ladner: Considered one of the greatest prep basketball coaches in the state. Won state title at Harrison Central, also played at Mississippi College.

John May: Two-year basketball starter at Gulfport High until graduating in 1977. Started four years at South Alabama, earning Little All-American honors. Fourth-round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in 1981.

Ted Miller: Football and track standout at Gulfport High until graduating in 1959. A former quarterback at Tulane and was All-SEC. Uncle of Gulfport High basketball coach Owen Miller.

Frank Pilate: Five year starter in football at Gulfport High until graduating in 1973, All Big 8 for three years. All-SWAC four years at Alcorn State.

Leon Regal: Former football coach won two state championships at Gulfport High in 1971 and 1972.

Steve Smith: Quarterbacked Gulfport High to the 1977 Big 8 Conference championship and also a baseball standout. Baylor baseball coach from 1995 to 2015.