Longtime coach and teacher Lacy Wilson, 66, died from a heart attack Thursday evening. Wilson was officiating a basketball game at Coahoma County High School when he had the heart attack. Wilson was taken to Northwest Regional in Clarksdale where he passed away.
Wilson was a long time coach and teacher in Drew for 36 years, working at Hunter Middle School and Drew High School. During his career, he coached football, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls track and baseball. Wilson made his presence known in the community as he served on the Drew Board of Alderman for eight years and served in the army reserves for 38 years. He also refereed and officiated games in all sports.
Wilson’s son Tyrone Wilson, who is a graduate of Drew High, said his father cared for the kids.
“He was a father figure to the kids, because a lot of them didn’t have a father or mother,” Tyrone said. “He was a good person. Everybody knew him. He taught half of Drew.”
Tyrone said he learned a lot from his father growing up.
“He taught me how to play ball and showed me how to become a man and a father,” Tyrone said. “We were blessed.”
Ruleville Central head girls basketball Chiquita Bracey was a student in one of Wilson’s class when he taught at Hunter Middle School and played under him when he coached basketball.
“He was a man that had been around for so many generations,” Bracey said. “He brought up so many kids. Just the loss of him is going to be very tremendous on the community. He touched our lives. He raised all kids. There’s nothing more to say. He was very symbolic to the Drew community. He was a die hard Eagle fan, and he coached here for 30 plus years. It’s a devastating loss.”
Before Drew High consolidated with Ruleville Central High School, Bracey was the head girls basketball coach at Drew when Wilson was the head football coach and the head boys basketball coach. Wilson’s Eagles had a great run in the 2010-11 basketball season when they went to the 1A State Tournament for the first time in five years.
Bracey said Wilson was a good man to work with when she coached at Drew.
“He was a great mentor,” Bracey said. “When I came in, he took me under his wing. He taught me the ropes of coaching, and he was just a guy that was always willing to help no matter what it was. If you need something or needed his advice, there was always something he could recommend. That was his favorite word. He would say ‘Coach, I’m just going to recommend that you do this. You can do what you want to do, but I’m just going to recommend.’ He was just always a great guy to go to for advice. He just had that type of effect on people. We always supported each other.”
Coahoma County assistant football coach Errick Lakes played football and basketball under Wilson at Hunter Middle School in Drew.
Lakes echoed Bracey’s sentiments about Wilson.
“There’s only so much I can say about coach Wilson,” Lakes said. “He was a mentor and a father figure for a lot of kids in the Drew community. He taught us how to be upstanding young citizens. He wanted us to be productive people in society. He didn’t care what side of the track you came from. He didn’t care if you were rich or poor. He treated people like people.
“He was a great person and a great man. He loved his family and the community. When you saw coach Wilson, he greeted you with a smile and gave you word of encouragement. He will be greatly missed. One thing that will not be missed is he left a legacy. He has supervised so many kids from Drew that have gone on to be successful people in society. He was just a great man.”
Former Drew High and Hunter Middle School student, Anthony “Bo” McGee, is currently the head boys basketball coach at Pinkston High School in Dallas, Texas. McGee played basketball and football under Wilson at Hunter Middle School. He was also head boys basketball coach at Drew for three years.
McGee said Wilson got him started in coaching.
“I first got my start at Hunter Middle School,” McGee said. “I went back and did some volunteering for him at Hunter Middle for a year before I was able to land a job as an assistant coach. He pretty much allowed me to coach football and basketball, and he just kind of stood back and gave me the reigns. He would give me advice here and there. I was his pupil at Hunter Middle School for four years before I went over to Drew High School.”
McGee said Wilson wanted everybody to make sure everybody did the right things to become a better person.
“He was always trying to impact somebody’s life whether it was coaching or driving through the community,” McGee said. “If he saw you doing something that you weren’t supposed to do, he would stop his car or stop his truck. He was not afraid to take on the toughest of guys in the community. He was always trying to make a difference and impact somebody’s life.”
McGee said Coach Wilson will be greatly missed.
“He was a monumental guy,” McGee said. ‘I’ve been on this earth 42 years, and he’s been around all of my life,” McGee said. “He pretty much gave his entire life to the city of Drew, whether it was summer baseball or park commission or middle school or the high school, he gave his entire life to the city of Drew.”
Wilson’s funeral will be held at the Drew High School Gymnasium on Saturday at 11 a.m. The funeral arrangements are being made through Redman Funeral Home in Greenville.