MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton (Photo courtesy of MISSHSAA.com)

Bay Springs native Don Hinton announced on Tuesday that he will retire as Executive Director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association, effective December 31, 2020.

Hinton joined the MHSAA staff in 2011 and was elevated to MHSAA Executive Director follow- ing the retirement of Dr. Ennis Proctor. He grad- uated from Bay Springs High School and played football at Jones Junior College. He later went to Mississippi College and graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education before continuing his education at USM, where he earned a master's degree in educational administration.

Hinton worked at Northwest Rankin High School, Callaway High School, Murrah High School, Jim Hill High School and other schools during his time as a teacher, principal, and coach for football, girls' basketball and track and field.

Hinton, who will be 65 in October, informed the MHSAA Executive Committee of his decision during a meeting Tuesday morning.

“I really felt when I arrived at the association that I’d like to work here for 10 years,” said Hinton. “It’s been a blessing and a great experience to be able to serve in this position. I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

During Tuesday's meeting, the committee also discussed options for moving forward with high school sports during the fall semester. Multiple options were proposed, including delaying the start of fall sports seasons and potentially swapping fall sports that involve more contact with spring sports that involve less.

"Right now our MHSAA staff and the Executive Committee are focused on an unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic," said Hinton. "It’s an enormous task facing the association, our member schools and their administrators, our state leaders as well as every community across Mis- sissippi. It’s going to take all of our best efforts as circumstances can change literally by the day or even by the hour.”

As for what is to be expected of him over the remainder of his tenure with the MHSAA, Hinton said, “My goal now and for these next six months is the same as when I became Executive Director in 2011: Let’s focus on doing what’s best for our students and schools in Mississippi.”

Kalvin Robinson, President of the MHSAA Executive Committee, said the committee will begin the process of selecting Hinton’s replacement during the weeks to come.

“I’ve been a part of the committee since Mr. Hinton came on board,” Robinson said. “We thank him for his 91⁄2 years of service and we’re looking forward to the next 6 months. He’s been a first-class leader the whole time.

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