BY MARK BEASON
FULTON – When Itawamba Community College went looking for a new women's basketball coach, they didn't have to look very far.
The ICC Board of TRustees made a unanimous vote Monday night to hire Nanci Gray as its new women's coach, replacing current athletic director Carrie Ball-Williamson.
ICC is familiar with Gray's work as Tupelo girls coach, winning the MHSAA Class 5A state championship in 2000. She's also spent time at Houlka and Bruce, having success at each level.
Gray also played at ICC in 1974-75 and is a member of the ICC Athletic Hall of Fame.
“We're fortunate that the circle has come complete and that Nanci Gray will be coaching our women's team next season,” ICC president Dr. David Cole said. “She was an outstanding athlete here, and she's been an outstanding coach. She brings in the total package, and has the respect of her peers in the business.”
Former football coach and current dean of students Mike Eaton was a member of the search committee, and says Gray more than fit the bill. He says finding a coach of Gray's caliber within the district made the decision easier.
“We had a good pool of applicants, and you want to pick somebody that's going to not only be a good coach, but a good fit too,” Eaton said. “She's going to be a good fit here, and we're excited about the direction our basketball program is headed.”
Ball-Williamson will continue to serve as athletic director and also will be director of the Davis Event Center, which is set to open next year. Ball-Williamson, a Pontotoc native, had a 213-123 record as coach of the Lady Indians.
“Coach Ball did an outstanding job as our women's coach, and she did so with class,” Eaton said. “We feel like Nanci Gray fits that same mold and will be a big asset to the ICC staff.”