Sports column: Warren Central is a rare island of coaching longevity

Published 11:00 am Sunday, April 23, 2023

Once the crowd thinned out and most of Warren Central’s players had left the dugout following Thursday’s playoff win over St. Martin, the only two coaches the school’s softball team has ever known enjoyed a quick visit.

Lucy Young, who led the fast-pitch program from 2000-06 — and the slow-pitch team for 30 years before that — congratulated her successor Dana McGivney.

A third person will soon join the list. McGivney is leaving at the end of the season to become the head coach at Oxford High School after 16 outstanding seasons here in Vicksburg. Seeing her and Young together on Thursday was a reminder of something rare and precious in sports — longevity.

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Coaches at the college and pro level are always on the move. If they’re not fired, they often move on for higher-paying jobs a few years after they’re hired.

Better opportunities, as well as burnout from the long hours, typically keep high school coaches from staying in one place too long.

Warren Central’s softball program has been very unusual in that regard. Young coached the slow-pitch team from the mid-1970s until 2006, oversaw the introduction of the fast-pitch team in 2000, and then passed the reins to McGivney.

The school, then, has had two softball head coaches over the past 50 years. It’s part of a trend at Warren Central that goes against the grain of the coaching profession in a good way.

McGivney was part of a remarkable class of coaches hired at Warren Central in the summer of 2006. Boys soccer coach Greg Head and football coach Josh Morgan came aboard that summer as well and are still going strong. Morgan was hired as an assistant that year and became head coach in 2010.

Morgan and most of his staff have been together for most of his tenure, just as his father Robert Morgan and his staff were for many years before that.

Baseball coach Randy Broome has been associated with his program as both an assistant and head coach at various times since the 1990s.

Two familiar faces at WC have announced plans to move on at the end of the school year. In addition to McGivney, longtime football and basketball assistant coach Julius Cosby — also a Warren Central alum — has been hired as the boys’ basketball head coach at Center Hill High School in Desoto County.

Even with their departures, Warren Central has remained a relative island of stability in a stormy sea of change. Having those deep, long-running ties among the various programs fosters a culture of trust and success as fathers and mothers send their children to play for the same coaches they played for.

It’s something we might not always think about, probably even take for granted, but should take a moment to appreciate.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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