Retired football coach Jeff Terrill was recently gifted a chair at The Skipworth Performing Arts Center by one of his former players, Jonathan Powers.
“It is very humbling and a great honor to have that chair,” Terrill said in a recent interview.
Before coming to Kosciusko, Terrill was at East Mississippi Community College as defensive coordinator. He left Kosciusko to become defensive coordinator at Hinds Community College and later went to Itawamba Community College as head coach. After retiring from the public school system, Terrill became head coach at Starkville Academy.
“I was blessed with really great players, good coaches, and good community support,” Terrill said of his seven years in Kosciusko. “We were able to go to playoffs six years in a row, and we won the North Half State championship one of those years.”
Terrill also has good memories of The Star Herald and its sports coverage.
“Tim Cummins (late sportswriter) was one of the first people who walked through my door, and we became great friends. He tragically passed away while I was there, and that was a difficult time. The Star Herald always treated me right and made us look good,” Terrill said.
“Kosciusko holds a special place in our hearts and memories. It did more for us than we ever did for it,” the former coach added. “The school system was outstanding, and the community was great.”
Terrill is excited about the Skipworth Center.
“The longer I was in education, the more I understand the need to expose our kids to every area of life. It is important to broaden their minds and give them experiences. As a matter of fact, some of my better players over the years were those who were well-rounded, whether they had interests in piano, singing, writing, or drawing,” he said.
The Skipworth Center “will offer wonderful opportunities. It will be a great advantage in growing in the arts,” Terrill said enthusiastically.
Now retired after 36 years in education, Terrill is a Multi-Area Director with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“I get to share my faith, do marketing, hiring, and continue to expand FCA in the area. I still get to go to gyms and field houses, which I love,” Terrill said.
Although he has been away from Kosciusko for many years, Terrill still keeps up with local sports.
“I am enthusiastic about Coach Orr and know he will do a great job. I gave him his first job out of college, and he did well,” he said.
He was also up on the recent state championship earned by the Lady Whippets softball team.
“I was thrilled at their win and remember Coach Terry’s dad fondly. Coach Terry was in school when I was in Kosciusko,” Terrill said.
Terrill’s former quarterback, Jonathan Powers, also feels like the Skipworth Center will be a tremendous asset to Kosciusko and the surrounding area.
“Athletics and arts go hand-in-hand. They all complement each other and make students more well-rounded,” Powers said, noting that he has fond memories of playing for Coach Terrill.
“He demanded leadership. If you couldn’t be a leader, you might not play a certain position. We were made to believe that we were good enough, and he taught me about believing in myself,” Powers said of Terrill’s coaching philosophy.
“I have respected Coach Terrill since I first played for him. He was the same every day. We were always prepared, and he gave us a chance to win. Coach Terrill made a major impact on my life that continues today,” Powers said. “I wanted to honor him so that he would know that we have not forgotten him. Some of the best years of Kosciusko football were when Coach Terrill was here. I wanted him to know that Kosciusko has not forgotten him.”