PERKINSTON — Longtime Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College men's basketball coach Bob Weathers, whose teams won 868 games and six state championships, died Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, at Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg at the age of 86.
"Coach Weathers left a legacy of excellence at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and impacted the lives of hundreds of students throughout his tenure at the college," Gulf Coast President Dr. Mary S. Graham said. "We are grateful for all that Coach Weathers and his family did to support the college, and have them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Weathers ranks fifth on the National Junior College Athletic Association all-time wins list, and he tops the list of Mississippi coaches.
Bob Weathers was born Sept. 16, 1932, in Hattiesburg, and he grew up in Oak Grove. He was an all-state basketball player at Oak Grove High School as a senior in 1950. He went to Mississippi Southern College (now Southern Miss) and lettered in basketball for four years.
He was freshman basketball coach at his alma mater from 1955-57, compiling a 30-5 record. In 1958-59, he was a graduate assistant for the varsity team and earned his master's degree.
Picayune High School hired him as boys coach in 1959, and his team went 13-10 before leaving to become coach at Perkinston Junior College on July 20, 1960.
His first Bulldogs team made it to the state playoffs, paving the way for his first South Division and state championships the following season. It was the first basketball state title in school history, but it wouldn't be Weathers' last. He went on to win 868 games against only 329 losses in nearly 42 years of service to the college, grabbing 15 division championships, nine state titles, three Region 23 crowns, and fourth-place and fifth-place finishes at the NJCAA national tournament.
Weathers retired June 30, 2002, after having worked for the college for 41 years, 11 months and 10 days. He set the school's 20th-century record for service to the school. He was the winningest active coach in the NJCAA at the time of his retirement.
He was inducted into five different halls of fame for his tremendous accomplishments: NJCAA Basketball Hall of Fame (1994), USM Sports Hall of Fame (1995), Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame (1999), MGCCC Athletic Hall of Fame (1999) and the MACJC Sports Hall of Fame (2007).
The gym on the Perkinston Campus was renamed the Weathers/Wentzell Center on Oct. 25, 2007.
Weathers is survived by his wife Tommie Jean; his son, Wendell, who succeeded him as MGCCC men's basketball coach; his daughter-in-law Tammie, and grandchildren Ross, Rob and Emily.
He was preceded in death by his parents Ross A. Weathers and Virgie Rainey Weathers, and his sons Richard Anthony "Tony" Weathers and Robert Wayne "Little Bob" Weathers.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Tony and Bob Weathers Scholarship Fund at MGCCC, P.O. Box 99, Perkinston, MS, 39573.
Visitation will be held Monday, Oct. 1, at Big Level Baptist Church starting at 10 a.m. Funeral services will take place at Big Level Baptist Church at 2 p.m., with burial immediately following at Woodlawn Cemetery in Wiggins.