High School Sports

Moss Point to name football stadium after legendary coach Friday night

Moss Point will name its football stadium after longtime coach Jerry Alexander on Friday.
Moss Point will name its football stadium after longtime coach Jerry Alexander on Friday. Amccoy@sunherald.com

Former Moss Point High School football coach Jerry Alexander will receive the highest honor of his career at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The school will officially name its stadium Jerry B. Alexander Stadium 30 minutes before the Tigers (2-4, 0-1 Region 4-5A) play Vancleave.

“It’s really quite an honor,” Alexander said. “I share the honor with my former players, coaches and other people who helped me along the way.”

The Tigers’ playing field will remain L.N. Dantzler Field.

“For years, people thought the stadium was named Dantzler Stadium, but that was just the name of the field,” Alexander said.

Alexander won four Class 5A state championships and went 167-55 in 18 years as Moss Point’s from 1991 to 2007. He replaced Billy Miller, who died of a heart attack in 1991. Miller coached Moss Point to a Class AA state title in 1983.

Moss Point went 4-1 in 5A state title games under Alexander, winning in 1991, 1996, 1997 and 2000. He was named the Sun Herald Coach of the Year in 2000. Before retiring, he was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame. He is also in the Delta State University Alumni Coaches Hall of Fame.

The Tigers produced countless Division I players under Alexander, including quarterbacks Kevin Fant (Mississippi State) and Damarius Bilbo (Georgia Tech); offensive tackle Alcender Jackson (LSU); and defensive tackles Jesse Mitchell (Ole Miss) and Tom Johnson (Southern Miss). Johnson, a former New Orleans Saint, is now in his third season with the Minnesota Vikings.

“Being a young high school kid, you really don’t realize it at the time,” Jackson said. “Looking back and reflecting on those years, I realized that we were apart of a well-run program. That program had a strong structure from the bottom to the top. At the top of this program was Jerry Alexander. Great communicator, he set expectations for everyone ( including himself ) and was a fair disciplinarian.

“Most of all, he was Moss Point to the bone. It was an honor playing for him. I feel he took more pride in getting us to play for each other. That’s what true leaders do. In my opinion, Coach Alex is a Mississippi high school sports icon. I am privileged to call him my coach.”

Current Moss Point coach Willie Brown praised Alexander’s legacy.

“Jerry Alexander’s a great man and a great coach,” Brown said. “He didn’t produce just great football players, he produced great men. Some of his former players are lawyers, coaches and professional players.”

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones