VHS soccer, tennis coach Manton resigns

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kevin Manton, the Vicksburg High School girls soccer and tennis coach, resigned Friday, district officials said.

“He’s no longer associated with the Vicksburg Warren School District,” Superintendant Dr. James Price said.

Reached Friday night, Manton said the resignation was an early retirement. The 48-year-old has been teaching and coaching for 25 years, the last 21 at Vicksburg High.

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 Manton had coached the Missy Gators against Northwest Rankin on Thursday, and Friday night the team played Newton County in the Mid-Mississippi Classic. They were to play Caledonia this morning and another half-dozen games before the holiday break.

Asked about the timing of his decision, Manton said, “I can’t answer that. There’s no right or wrong or whatever.”

Vicksburg boys coach Jason Bennett will lead the Missy Gators until a successor can be found.

Bennett and Michelle Fisackerley coached the girls’ team to a 1-1 tie against Newton County on Friday night. In October 2008, Bennett led the girls’ team when Manton was suspended for two weeks after being accused of making inappropriate comments to female students.

“The girls had to come out and play, and they did that,” Bennett said Friday night. “I’m proud of them for that.”

During his tenure at Vicksburg, Manton has been one of the most successful high school soccer coaches in Mississippi.

The only coach the girls’ program has ever had, he won five state championships from 1996 to 2003. The Missy Gators finished 116-26-5 in that span, with another trip to the Class 5A championship game and an appearance in the semifinals to go along with the state titles. While the Missy Gators haven’t won a title since 2002, they did reach the semifinals in 2005 and 2009. 

Manton’s tennis teams have also enjoyed success. He guided the Gators to the Class 4A semifinals before losing to Oxford this past spring, and several players have advanced to the individual state tournament over the years.

Manton also coached the VHS boys’ soccer team from 1988 to 1998.

“It’s not about me; it’s about the kids,” he said. “Every game I coached is for the kids. I have the record, but it all comes back on them. Nothing I say or do should reflect on them.”


Contact Steve Wilson at swilson@vicksburgpost.com