A trio of Jackson County basketball coaches reached coaching milestones during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Skyline varsity girls and boys basketball head coach Ronnie McCarver collected his 700th win while Pisgah varsity girls head coach Carey Ellison got his 600th and Woodville varsity girls and boys basketball head coach picked up his 100th victory.
McCarver picked up his 700th win during the Skyline boys’ 66-33 win over Cleveland on Nov. 22.
McCarver, a Jackson County Hall of Famer, has been a head coach since 1993 with stops at Paint Rock Valley, Woodville, Section and Skyline. He’s won more Jackson County Boys Tournament championships (nine — six at Section and three at Skyline) than any other coach. He led Section to the 2003 Class 1A boys state championship and Skyline to a 2019 Class 1A girls state runner-up finish.
“I never thought in a million years I’d been in it long enough to (win 700 games),” McCarver said. “It’s the players I’ve had, and (assistant coach) T.J. Perry. Having a good assist is important. Both of those things are big.”
Ellison, a Jackson County Hall of Famer who is in his 24th season as Pisgah’s head coach, got win No. 600 in a 59-32 win over Holly Pond on Nov. 26. Ellison has coached Pisgah to five state championships, including the last two Class 3A titles, seven state runner-up finishes and a Jackson County record 13 county tournament championships.
“I don’t know if the number means as much to me as it may later on. Right now I just try to enjoy coaching and see where it leads,” Ellison said. “(The milestone is) really a tribute to all of the players that have been in the program. I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of great ones too.”
Smith picked up his 100th win during the Woodville girls’ 38-8 win over Whitesburg Christian on Nov. 25. Smith is in his fourth season as the Woodville girls coach and third season as the WHS boys coach.