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Gina Skelton photo
Gina Skelton photo
Gina Skelton
Hometown: Waynesboro, MS
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Gina Skelton has been a championship basketball coach for 35 years guiding successful programs at Quitman, Forest, Wayne County, and Carthage. Born in Meridian, Gina was a four-year letterman who was all division and all conference in track and basketball at Waynesboro Central High and played for the South in the 1977 Mississippi High School All Star game. She continued her basketball at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus before injuries forced her off the court after 2 seasons. After completing her college education at MUW and Mississippi State, she started her coaching career at Pickens High in Alabama before arriving at Carthage, Forest, her alma mater at Wayne County, and at Quitman High. Coach Skelton has coached basketball, track, and cross country during her illustrious career and her girls’ basketball teams have earned 826 wins and 274 losses. She is the first female coach in Mississippi prep history to lead a boys’ team to the state tournament as she guided the Forest Bearcats boys’ team to a record of 19-10 and an appearance in the Final Four of the state hoops tournament. During her tenure at Forest, she originated the girls’ slow pitch and cross country programs and in one season, she coached 9 different athletic teams at the school. Her legendary girls’ hoops teams have won 19 district titles, 11 North/South crowns, made 28 playoff appearances with 16 state tournament finishes, captured 4 state runner-up trophies, appeared 8 times in the state semi-finals, and claimed 4 state championships with 2 at Wayne County, 1 at Forest, and 1 at Quitman. Her teams have been ranked in the top 10 teams in the state on 14 occasions and one of her teams was ranked as high as 12th in the nation. Gina’s track and cross country teams are also accomplished squads as her cross country teams won 12 division titles, 2 state runner-up finishes, 2 state championships, and 3 individual state champions. Her girls track teams won 5 division crowns, 1 South State title, and 1 state runner-up trophy with 5 individual state champions. Coach Skelton has been named Coach of the Year an amazing 19 times by various groups including the Jackson Clarion Ledger, the Meridian Star, the MAC, MHSAA, and the NFHS. She also has the unique distinction of being named Scott County Boys Coach of the Year for her efforts with the Forest boys’ team. She has been selected 4 times as an All-Star coach for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Basketball Classic and the Mississippi High School All-Star game. Gina has served as administrative coach for the MS/AL games on 3 occasions. Coach Skelton’s teams have always excelled in the classroom as each one of her teams earned Scholar Athlete designation and all of her players have graduated from high school with 95% of her players continuing their college educations. A faithful member of the MAC, she has served on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, the Basketball Committee, and as Vice President in 2016 and President for 2017. In 2011, Gina received the Southern Miss Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence in Women’s Sports.