JDA basketball coach reaches milestone

  • Jefferson Davis Academy girls coach Barry Morehead captured his 600th victory on Jan. 18 against Andrew Jackson Academy.

As the buzzer sounded in Jefferson Davis Academy’s gymnasium Jan. 18, a 30-28 victory over Andrew Jackson Academy wasn’t just any win for the Lady Raiders.

The win signified the 600th victory for coach Barry Morehead.

Morehead said it felt good to reach the milestone.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support over the years and the teams I’ve coached during that time for being a part of this great run,” Morehead said. “I believe my players were more excited than I was, but overall it was a lot of fun for everyone.”

Morehead has been coaching for more than three decades. He started his basketball coaching career in 1974 at First Baptist in Charleston where he won a state championship in his first season.

Morehead’s coaching resume’ included three state championships and three state runners-up at Colleton Prep Academy. He also enjoyed successful stints at Wardlaw Academy, Thornwell Academy, St. Johns Academy and Holly Hill Academy.

After leaving Colleton Prep last season, Morehead nearly called it quits before taking the Jefferson Davis Academy position at the last moment.

“I really thought I was done coaching, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to continue to coach,” Morehead said. “Being here at Jefferson Davis Academy has been a good challenge for me. We’ve been working hard and trying to build interest back into the program.”

Minister Ken Frederick of First Baptist Church of Blackville is an alumni of Jefferson Davis Academy.

Frederick has a son who plays basketball at JDA. Frederick said Morehead is a nice addition to the Raiders’ athletic program.

“Barry Morehead inspires young people and his players respect him,” Frederick said. “He has great knowledge of the game and he’s been successful building programs over the years. He’s a constant role model for athletes and he’s teaching them about life and values.”

The 72-year-old Morehead said coaching has always been fun for him and that’s why he continues to walk the sidelines.

“I feel like I’m called to coach like I’m called to preach,” Morehead said.

“Just being around and teaching young people to do the right thing is what motivates me. When I was five years-old, I fell and broke my collarbone playing games. I’m in my seventies now and I’m still playing games.”