JCJC icon A.B. Howard dies at 96

A.B. Howard is shown in 2015 at the unveiling of his portrait in the lobby of A.B. Howard Gymnasium. Photo courtesy: Photos/Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information

Ellisville, Miss. (WJTV/WHLT) – Jones County Junior College (JCJC) officials tell us a former head basketball coach has passed away.

Anse Bond “A.B.” Howard, Jr., who served as head basketball coach from 1950-1977, died on Thursday at the age of 96.

College officials tell us that Howard is the longest tenured coach in JCJC history. He was the head basketball coach from 1950-1977. While coaching basketball, he also served as the JCJC assistant football coach from 1950-1958 and became head football coach in 1958, when Milton White resigned. Then, in 1960, when athletic director B.L. Kisner passed away, Howard took on those responsibilities, too.

In 1961, Sim Cooley became the football coach. Howard stayed on as head basketball coach until 1977 and retired as athletic director in 1982.

We’re told that Howard is a charter member of both the JCJC and Mississippi Junior/Community College Sports Halls of Fame. He was inducted into both groups in 2007. Howard is also in the NJCAA Hall of Fame.

Visitation for Howard will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Sunday at First Baptist Church in Ellisville. Graveside services will follow at the Ellisville Cemetery.

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