Long been known for being a basketball hotbed, Nathan McLellan pointed out that North Mississippi has become a hotbed for cross country.
With nine North Mississippi high school cross country teams winning state championships in 2009 and six runners from North Mississippi also winning individual state titles, the East Union High cross country coach has a point.
And further evidence of North Mississippi’s excellence in cross country comes with McLellan being named the 2009-2010 Mississippi Association of Coaches Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year.
In November, McLellan guided the Urchins to their first MHSAA Class 2A boys state championship.
“Any coach would tell you, you got to have good kids to get any type of honors,” he said. “I am fortunate to have good kids.”
The 28-year-old coach sounds just like Milton Kuykendall, Jimmy Guy McDonald and Mike Bain – coaches who will be inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame on Friday night at the Hilton Jackson hotel.
That’s all right because McLellan said those coaches would say the same thing. The East Union graduate and coach will also be honored in Jackson that night by the MAC for being the boys country coach of the year.
“To be going down with them, it’s an amazing honor,” said McLellan, whose wife and parents will be attending Friday’s event.
John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal