HOLLANDALE — Experience was the key for the Hollandale School District, as they searched for a new head boys basketball coach after the retirement of longtime coach George Willis.
With a resume that includes playing experience for the Harlem Globetrotters, American Basketball Association (ABA), New Zealand and the United States Basketball League (USBL), Festus Hawkins was just the man for the job. Hawkins was named Hollandale-Simmons' head boys basketball coach.
“(He) came to us from the Mississippi Teachers Corp through Ole Miss and was a blessing in disguise,” said Simmons principal Randy Grierson. “I recruited him as a teacher and came to find out he had an unbelievable basketball background to follow.
“Festus is 6-foot-10 of pure energy is going to bring a lot to the table through coaching and playing experience.”
Hawkins takes over for Willis, a who spent over 30 seasons coaching both girls and boys basketball at Simmons.
Hawkins, who played at the University of Illinois and Augusta State, formerly coached at Arkansas Pine-Bluff and won an AAU national championship in 2007.
Former Millsaps great Jessica Bowie, who holds the school's only women's triple doubles in school history (2008 and 2009), was tabbed as the high school girls basketball coach. Casey Clouse will take over the slow-pitch softball team.