Clinton, Mississippi – Today the Executive Committee of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) elected Don Hinton from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, to succeed Dr. Ennis Proctor as Executive Director on July 1, 2011. Since 1977 this native Mississippian has served as a teacher, coach, athletic administrator, principal, and private consultant.
“We are pleased to name Don Hinton as the next Executive Director. He is a motivational person with a passion for education and activities. He clearly recognizes the importance of activities as a dropout prevention tool, and he has demonstrated for many years his commitment to the young people of Mississippi. He will continue the rich tradition Mississippi has with its academic, fine arts, and athletic competitions. He has the full support of our Executive Committee,” stated MHSAA President Lonnie Tillman.
The MHSAA is a nonprofit association, run by its 574 member schools in the state of Mississippi. The Association is responsible for both academic and athletic competitions. The academic competitions include debate, drama, speech, JROTC, and music—band and choral. The athletic competitions include the following sports: Slow pitch softball, volleyball, swimming, cross country, football, cheerleading/dance, indoor track, wrestling, soccer, basketball, bowling, power lifting, track, tennis, golf, fast pitch softball, archery, and baseball. The Association is also responsible for approximately 4,000 officials, who are registered and certified through MHSAA clinics. The welfare and relationships of the 530,000 students who make up the public, private, and parochial member schools in Mississippi are promoted through the Association.
A graduate of Jones County Junior College, Hinton has his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. He began his teaching career in the Jackson Public Schools then became a graduate assistant with the USM football program before returning to the metro area to become a head football coach and director of athletics at Northwest Rankin High School. In 1991 he became director of athletics and head football coach at Ocean Springs then at Vancleave High School. After serving as assistant principal then principal at Vancleave High School, he moved back to the Ocean Springs School District as the director of athletics with responsibilities at both the high school and the middle school. Hinton retired in June 2007 and currently owns and operates Mississippi SportsPlus, a private consulting business. He is a public relations consultant with Pascagoula’s Merchants and Marine Bank and is District IV Middle School Athletics Chairman. He is also affiliated with Learning Through Sports and serves as the MHSAA Sportsmanship Coordinator in addition to serving as an adjunct teacher for the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Branch.
“The Mississippi High School Activities Association has a reputation of excellence, integrity, and fairness. I am committed to working with all of its stakeholders—students, superintendents, principals, coaches, corporate sponsors, parents, legislators, fans, and member schools—to continue to make a positive difference in our state. I am humbled to have been selected for this important position, and I pledge to work with our schools during these challenging economic times to insure that we protect the opportunities for our young people to develop and showcase their talents,” responded Don Hinton.
Hinton’s many honors include Gulf Coast Chapter National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Award of Merit, MHSAA/MAAA Athletic Director of the Year, Mississippi Association of Coaches Athletic Director of the Year, coach for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game and for the Bernard Blackwell North/South MS All-Star Game. He has been a District and Local Region High School Coach of the Year for Football four times, and the Gulf Coast Chapter National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Coach of the Year.
Executive Director Ennis Proctor stated, “I was very impressed by the quality of the applicants we had for this position. This was a very difficult decision for our Executive Committee, but they have selected a quality person in Don Hinton. He and I will work closely together over the next year so that there is a smooth transition in leadership when I retire in June 2011.”
Hinton has been married to his wife Donna for 33 years, and they have two children Matthew and Natalie.