By Brandon Speck
The door of a premier hoops job just opened up.
Baldwyn boys basketball head coach Jason McKay stepped down Monday afternoon, not long before being named the school’s new superintendent.
It ends a nine-year run of success that includes trips to four of the last five MHSAA Class 2A state championship games, with a title in 2013.
“It’s the most emotional decision that I’ve ever had to make,” said McKay, a 1988 Baldwyn graduate, “without a doubt because of how good the basketball program has been to our family.”
McKay, 44, told the team Monday after what he said was a long process of making the decision.
“It’s something we cried a lot about at home,” he said. “It was very hard letting it go. But the thing on the flip side of the coin that we’re so happy about, is we’re excited about the opportunity of being superintendent of a place we love so much.”
He leaves the cupboard stocked. All five starters return, including to-be junior point guard and his son, Conner McKay.
“My whole family will always be indebted for getting to be a part of Baldwyn basketball,” Jason McKay said. “It’s an extended part of our family and we’ve been very, very fortunate to play a part and we will always be indebted to the Baldwyn school and community for allowing us that opportunity.”
He doesn’t hesitate to label the century-old program one of the state’s best, because of the tradition and community support.
But it’s had a lot to do with him, too. Baldwyn’s record under McKay is 241-47. He went 75-22 in three years leading the Baldwyn girls and went to the state tournament twice. He has also coached at Mantachie, Amory and Smithville. In 22 years of coaching, his teams made it to seven state tournaments and have an overall record of 550-232, to which he credits coaching great people before they were great basketball players.
Baldwyn won back-to-back championships in 1986-87 with McKay as point guard. The Bearcats were a controversial call and less than a minute away from possibly repeating that feat in March. He will officially take over as superintendent on July 1.
“Great Coach,” tweeted Marshall coach Antwayn Patrick. “wishes to Superintendent Coach Mckay and Baldwyn…”