Thursday, June 14, 2012
‘Bubba Ball’ is back at Northwest
By KEVIN MALONEY
Two weeks after announcing that Jimmy Adams’ contract as head men’s basketball coach would not be renewed, athletic director Cameron Blount announced Thursday the hiring of former head coach Don “Bubba” Skelton to take over the program.
“Bubba has a history with us and is a proven winner,” Blount said. “He’s won several state and region titles and has taken us to multiple national tournaments. It’s kind of come full circle and he found his way back to Senatobia.”
A five-time Region 23 and four-time MACJC Coach of the Year selection, Skelton spent the past four seasons at Jones County Junior College where he led the Bobcats to a 68-38 record. In his first season in 2008-09, Skelton piloted Jones to a 24-5 record and its first state championship since the 1945-46 season.
Prior to Jones, Skelton was an assistant coach at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, for two years. The Cardinals went 19-11 and tied for the Southland Conference crown in his final season.
Skelton last coached at Northwest during the 1998-2006 seasons and went an impressive 199-55 overall (.783) in his seven years including an 80-16 mark in north division play.
Northwest won three MACJC state championships (2000-01, 2004-05, 2005-06) and five Region 23 championships (2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-06) under Bubba’s leadership and went to five national tournaments in Hutchinson, Kan., in seven seasons.
Northwest closed out Skelton’s final three seasons with a Top 10 national ranking by the NJCAA, including a No. 2 finish to end the 2005-06 season.
“Expectations in our minds are to get back to ‘Bubba Ball’ and his type of up-tempo play,” Blount said. “He likes to get the ball up and down the court and brings a fun atmosphere to the table. We want to be competing for a state title year in and year out.”
Originated during his tenure, “Bubba’s Boys” was made up of softball and baseball players who painted up, wore T-shirts and were loud and made it a true home-court advantage and a fun atmosphere inside Howard Coliseum. Skelton hopes to bring that back into fruition.
Skelton replaces Jimmy Adams who went 34-36 overall during his three seasons and posted a 16-19 mark in north division play. The Rangers made the postseason for the first time since 2006-07 last season, finishing at 12-12.
Northwest will open the 2012-13 season on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. vs. Southwest Mississippi.
Bubba Skelton Through the Years
2008-12 • head coach, Jones County Junior College
2006-08 • assistant coach, Lamar University
1998-2006 • head coach, Northwest Mississippi
1996-98 • head coach, Southwest Mississippi
1991-96 • head coach, Monroe High School (Ky.)
1990-91 • head coach, Lafayette County High School
1988-90 • assistant coach, Jones County Junior College
1987-88 • graduate assistant coach, Mississippi College
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