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Calvin Triplett photo
Calvin Triplett photo
Calvin Triplett
Hometown: Picayune, MS
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Coach Calvin Triplett was a superb championship football coach at Poplarville, McComb, Winter Haven, Florida, Fort Pierce Central, Florida, and Picayune. A native of Picayune, Calvin played football for the legendary Coach Dobie Holden and graduated in 1942. Coach Triplett signed a scholarship to play football at Pearl River Community College, but after four games, the season was canceled due to World War II. Calvin volunteered for the U. S. Army and served in Europe. He was transferred to the Air Force after suffering frozen feet in the Battle of the Bulge and was stationed in Oklahoma in 1945. Calvin returned to Pearl River on October 12, 1945, and by Saturday night of the same week, he was playing football for the Wildcats. As he had done for Picayune High, the first time he touched the football, he scored a touchdown. Coach Triplett played at Pearl River CC from 1945 to 1946 and then enrolled at Southern Miss. After one year, he returned to Picayune to work at a local sawmill and then took a job at the Picayune YMCA. After five years, he completed his college education and then served as a junior high school football coach at Winter Haven, Florida. Coach Triplett then worked as backfield coach at the same school before returning to Mississippi. Calvin then started his 32-year coaching career in 1955 at Poplarville and led his first team to a 9-2 record and the DeSoto Conference title. One year later in 1956, he guided the McComb Tigers to a 9-2 mark and the Big Eight state championship. Coach Triplett remained at McComb from 1956 to 1963 when he returned to Winter Haven as head coach of the Blue Devils. He led a team that had been 1-9 the previous season to a turnaround 9-1 mark and a berth in the state playoffs. After posting winning seasons for the Blue Devils for five years, he left the profession to sell insurance in Nashville, but came back to the Sunshine State, this time to Fort Pierce Central in 1969. Calvin’s first team at Fort Pierce had a 7-3 ledger, but the next year in 1970, his squad played in the Florida state championship game. One season later in1971, he guided Fort Pierce to a perfect 14-0 record and the Florida State Championship. Under Coach Triplett, Fort Pierce won 20 consecutive games and was ranked no. 1 in the state 19 of the 20 weeks. Calvin returned to Winter Haven in 1973 for another five-year successful winning run. In 1978, Coach Triplett came home to Picayune as Director of the Picayune Athletic Association and, after one season, he took over as the head football coach for the Maroon Tide. Calvin then led his Picayune football teams to 9 straight winning seasons posting a 62-31 record. In 1986, Calvin’s Maroon Tide finished 9-2, but won the district, South State, and the 1986 Class 5A State Championship defeating Clarksdale 24 to 6 in the title game played at Mississippi College. Coach Triplett retired in 1987 and his teams compiled an overall record of 235 wins, 81 losses, and 4 ties including 3 state titles (2 in Mississippi and 1 in Florida). He was named State Coach of the Year five times—3 in Florida and 2 in Mississippi. Calvin was nominated for National Coach of the Year in 1971. Besides the MAC honors, Coach Triplett was inducted in the Pearl River Community College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. Calvin passed away on August 21, 2001.