Sports

Diversity, versatility highlight 2017 Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame class

Beverly Coleman
Beverly Coleman Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame

Coaching legends and prep basketball champions highlight the 12-member class of the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame.

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 6 p.m. Saturday at Lyman Community Center.

Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame committee member Steve Williams praised the group’s diversity.

“In this year’s class, you have versatility,” Gulfport Hall of Fame Vice President Prince Jones said. “You have football, basketball, baseball and track all represented in this group. We didn’t plan it this way, but that’s how the votes came out.”

Here are brief biographies of 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 Philadelphia, 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 Regel: 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.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

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