Cedric Drake, who helped lead the Meridian Community College Eagles to a Region 23 championship during his playing days, is returning to his alma mater as MCC’s new men’s head basketball coach, it was announced today by Dr. Scott Elliott, college president. Drake replaces Nathan Courtney, who recently accepted the head coaching job at Highland Community College in Illinois.
Drake comes to MCC with impressive credentials as a college player and high school coach.
“Cedric has been a winner all his life – on and off the court, and I expect him to have that kind of positive influence in building a solid program at MCC,” Elliott said. “He is a young man of great character, and he’ll be an excellent role model for our student-athletes.”
Drake was a two-sport standout (football and basketball) at Lafayette (AL) High School. He was actually highly recruited to play quarterback in college, but ultimately chose to concentrate on basketball at MCC. After starring on MCC’s last regional title team in 1999 (along with former NBA player Ronald “Flip” Murray), Drake had continued success playing at Auburn University-Montgomery, helping his squad to make the national tournament both his junior and senior seasons. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, he embarked upon a highly successful coaching career in the high school ranks.
At Taylor Road Academy in Montgomery, Drake served as head coach and athletic director, leading his teams to an area championship in 2006-08 and a regional championship and state runner-up finish in 2009. His teams qualified for the state final four three times.
At Prattville Christian Academy, he helped coach another regional championship team in 2010, then became head coach of the Montgomery Job Corps team the following year. His team finished as co-regional champion and qualified for the national tournament.
“I am really excited about returning to MCC and doing all that I can to build a consistently competitive program,” Drake said. “My first goal is for my players to earn a degree. MCC has a strong academic reputation, so any player I recruit is going to benefit from a first-class college education. Of course, I also want to win on the court. We had the best junior college basketball team in the state of Mississippi (and finished 5th in the NJCAA national tournament) when I played at MCC. I don’t see any reason why we can’t get to that level again. It will be a matter of recruiting talented players and coaching them to out-hustle our opponents on both ends of the court and play well as a unit. If I didn’t believe I could do that, then I wouldn’t take the job.”