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Roy M. Burkett photo
Roy M. Burkett photo
Roy M. Burkett
Hometown: Columbia, MS
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Coach Roy Burkett was an outstanding football coach at Columbia and Clinton. A native of Columbia, Roy played football for the Columbia Wildcats from 1936 to 1938. At the start of World War II, he joined the U. S. Army and served as a tank commander fighting in the famed Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and 1945. Following the war, he played baseball and quarterback at Pearl River Community College and Mississippi College. Upon graduation in 1948, he started his 20-year coaching career as an assistant coach first at Picayune and then at Crystal Springs. Roy was named head coach of his alma mater at Columbia in 1953 where he led the Wildcats for two seasons and a record of 3-17-1. He left coaching in 1955 to work alongside his father Fleet Burkett at Skipper Chevrolet, but he missed coaching and teaching and was named the 11th head football coach in the history of Clinton High in 1956. Coach Burkett transformed the Arrows football program into a dominant force for the next 16 seasons. Serving as athletic director, teaching a full course load, and coaching football, baseball, and track, Coach Burkett developed an impressive athletic program. His first team finished 8-3, winning their final five games and defeating arch-rival Forest Hill 35-0 to end the season. He would lead his upstart Arrows to North Little Dixie Conference Championships in 1960, 1961, and 1971. His Clinton football teams compiled a record of 94 wins, 67 losses, and 2 ties. Roy suffered heart problems during the middle of the 1971 season and was forced to end his coaching career. He resigned on December 5, 1971, following heart surgery. Coach Burkett received numerous coaching honors including being named Little Dixie Conference Coach of the Year and MAC Coach of the Year in 1971. Overall, his football teams won 97 games, lost 84 contests, and had 3 ties. In September 1970, Clinton High named the football field “Roy Burkett Field” in his honor.  In addition to MAC Coaches Hall of Fame honors, Coach Burkett was inducted into the Mississippi College Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. Roy passed away on February 18, 1998, at the age of 78.