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Don Hinton photo
Don Hinton photo
Don Hinton
Hometown: Bay Springs, MS
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Don Hinton is a longtime coaching veteran and athletic administrator who recently retired as Executive Director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Don graduated with honors from Bay Springs High School in 1973 as Most Athletic, All-Conference and Most Valuable football player, and was named to the school's Hall of Fame. He played football at Jones Junior College from 1973 to 1975, where he received All-South team honors and played in the Mississippi Junior College All-Star game before earning college degrees at Mississippi College in 1977, and at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1985. He started his coaching career in 1977 at Mississippi Baptist High School in Jackson and led his basketball team to a district title in 1978. Coach Hinton was an assistant football coach at Jim Hill from 1978 to 1980, assistant then head coach at Murrah from 1980 to 1984, assistant at Southern Miss 1984-1985, then head football coach and athletic director at Northwest Rankin from 1985 to 1990. His next stop was at Ocean Springs, where he coached and served as athletic director until 1994, guiding his football team to the 1993 district championship, before moving to Vancleave as head coach and athletic director from 1995 to 2000. He returned to Ocean Springs as athletic director from 2004 to 2008, giving him a combined 17 years of service as an AD. His football teams compiled a record of 83 wins, 49 losses and 1 tie out of 133 games for a 62% winning percentage, and his girls' basketball teams racked up a record of 26-19. Coach Hinton received coach of the year awards from Capitol Big-Eight Football, the Ocean Springs Record, the Sun Herald News and the Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, and in 2006, was named MAC and MHSAA Athletic Director of the Year. He served as an All-Star Coach in the 1996 Berneard Blackwell Classic Football game and in the 1997 Mississippi/Alabama game. Additional honors and awards received were the Award of Merit from Gulf Coast chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009, and selection as Person of the Year in 2019 by the Mississippi Athletic Trainers Sporst Medicine Association. A member of the MAC since 1977, Don served on the Board of Directors from 1995 to 1999, on the MHSAA Executive Board from 2001 to 2008, and on the board of the National Federation of High Schools Foundation since 2016. He also served the MHSAA from 2011 to 2020 as Executive Director in succession MAC Hall of Famer Dr. Ennis Proctor. He organized the Ocean Springs Athletic Foundation and other coaches' clinics in South Mississippi, and directed new championship venues and added new sports with innovative software tech programs for the MHSAA. On numerous occasions, he has been a speaker for the MAC multi-sport clinic, for the MHSAA AD & Superintendent Conferences, as well as serving as an athletic department consultant and school district motivational speaker. His community service includes the Board of Directors for Ocean Springs YMCA, Salvation Army Gulf Coast Board of Directors, and committee member at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs.