Akins named to HCC Sports Hall of Fame

By FROM STAFF REPORTS,

On April 4, the Holmes Community College Alumni Association inducted five former athletes into the 2019 Sports Hall of Fame in Frank Branch Coliseum in Goodman. Inductees included Attala County native Richard Wayne Atkins.

Akins graduated from Ethel High School before enrolling in Holmes Community College in the fall of 1973. Akins played football for Tommy Davis and ran track for Ode Burrell.

“I received great mentorship and guidance from the coaches and teachers at Holmes,” Akins said. “They helped instill great work ethic and drive in me to achieve my goals.”

After Holmes he coached football at Grenada High School and Horn Lake High School. In 1983 Akins went to work at Mississippi State University as a strength and conditioning coach. Akins continued on to Mississippi State University to earn a Bachelor of Science. He did not stop with just an undergraduate degree, he completed both his Master of Science (1979) and Education Specialist in School Administration (1985).

As a strength and conditioning coach at Mississippi State, some of the teams he worked with were very successful. Men’s basketball had eight SEC Western Division Champions, seven NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT appearances, one Final Four appearance in 1996 and one SEC Tournament Championship; Women’s Basketball had five NCAA Tournament appearances, six WNIT appearances and one Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2009; MSU Baseball (1983-2004) had 21 NCAA Regional or Super Regional appearances and three SEC Tournament Champions; and Women’s Soccer had one SEC West Championship under their belt.

“I made some great friendships while at Holmes and am blessed to still have them in my life today,” Akins said. “My fondest memory will always be meeting my best friend and the love of my life, my wife.”

Akins and his wife, Cindy, live in Raymore, Missouri, now. They have two children Ronald (41) and Elizabeth (39). Akins and his wife still visit the Starkville area on a regular basis.