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Jack Craft photo
Jack Craft photo
Jack Craft
Hometown: Taylorsville, MS
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The late Coach Jack Craft was a 35-year MAC member who coached football, basketball, and baseball at Richton and Purvis.  A native of Taylorsville, Jack was and all conference football and basketball player and best all-around athlete in his senior year at Taylorsville High in 1959. After receiving his college degree from Southern Miss in 1963, he began his 27-year coaching career at Richton.  Coach Craft worked as head coach for the Richton football, girls’ basketball, and baseball teams.  Jack led Richton football to the Singing River Conference title in 1963.  After spending three years at Richton, Jack arrived at Purvis in 1967 where he served as head football coach, athletic director, and head baseball coach.  Coach Craft built a solid football championship legacy at Purvis and guided his teams to 6 Apache Conference titles and one district crown.  Overall, Jack’s football teams compiled a record of 182 wins, 78 losses, and 6 ties.  He was named conference coach of the year an amazing 10 times, WBKH Radio Coach of the Year in 1969, and in 1985, he was selected as coach of the year by WDAM-TV and the Hattiesburg American.  Coach Craft was assistant coach in 1970 and head coach in 1974 in the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic. As South head coach in 1974, his team defeated what columnist Carl Walters deemed the North team as the “greatest group of young athletes ever assembled” by the decisive score of 33 to 10.  Coach Craft was forced to retire in 1990 due to health concerns, but he guided many student athletes to college scholarships at Southern Miss, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Army, Jones Junior College, Pearl River Junior College, Mississippi College, and Millsaps. In 1975, Purvis High named the football fieldhouse the “Jack R. Craft Fieldhouse” in his honor. Coach Craft passed away in 2016.