On Saturday, the Laurel-Jones County community came together to celebrate the life of former Laurel coach Wilson Terrell Jr., who was laid to rest at the age of 81.
Terrell, graduated from T.J. Harris High School in Meridian in 1958 and attended Jackson State University, where he played basketball under former coach Harrison B. Wilson from 1958-62.
He pledged membership to the Delta Delta Chapter of Greek Letter organization Kappa Alpha Phi Fraternity.
While studying in Jackson, Terrell met his college sweetheart, Yvonne Jackson, who later became his wife.
After receiving his degree from JSU, Terrell accepted his first coaching position, leading the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams at Wilkinson County Training School in Woodville.
In 1964, he came to Laurel, where he worked under former principal J.H. Spriggs at Idella Washington School, coaching basketball, football and track while also teaching physical education.
When integration made its way into Laurel in 1970, Terrell went to Jones Junior High and spent 20 years coaching basketball and track.
Terrell then came to R.H. Watkins High School in 1990, replacing Lee Garner as the Tornadoes’ head basketball coach while also coaching track and cross country.
Along with teaching and coaching, Terrell served as an official for high school sporting events for nearly three decades. He was a football official for 27 years and a basketball official for 26 years.
Terrell retired in 2003 after 41 years as an educator and spent his remaining years making memories with his family and friends, while still enjoying the sports he loved from a fan’s point of view.