Kingston resigns as basketball coach
by Lori Tippets
After five years as head coach of the Jacksonville High School boys’ basketball team, Anthony Kingston announced last week that he is resigning.

Kingston, who is the Director of Technology for Jacksonville City Schools, said he is stepping down to oversee the digital conversion project that will begin this fall. “My time will be limited and restricted to focus on our new technology,” said Kingston,

“With the coming of 1,400 devices in August 2013 I just could not manage coaching and my primary job, technology, and do them both at a high level.”

In the five years that Kingston has been coaching he has compiled a 77-66 record.

Kingston’s best year was in 2010 when his team compiled a 23-8 record making it to the Regional tournament where Jacksonville beat Oneonta in the semi-finals 48-46 and then narrowly lost to Anniston 52-50 in the finals. Kingston, in his second year of coaching, was acknowledged for his accomplishments and was named Coach of the Year.

Kingston took his team to post season play three years, 2010, 2012 and most recently this season where Jacksonville lost to Anniston in sub-state.

Knowing that this past season might be his last Kingston said there is one special memory that he will take with him. “This year, I knew that this was possibly my last year coaching so each game versus Alexandria was special. The 61-60 last second win was awesome, but the area game was exciting. To come back from nine down and win it like we did, that was special! Playing Alexandria is always memorable because of the history that we have with each other. Being able to beat them three times in one year is a great feat!”

Kingston brought with him a wealth of knowledge and experience to coaching. He played for JSU from 1990 to 1993 and spent time overseas playing in Luxembourg.

Kingston is no stranger to success. He is still on the records books at JSU; 10th on the scoring list (1,350), sixth in free throws made (363), seventh in free throws attempted (478), sixth on 3-point field goals attempted (380), 11th on 3-pointers made (123) and 10th in assists, (277).

During his time as a Gamecock the team was 88-26 and had two Elite Eight appearances. Kingston was named Freshman of the Year in 1990, First team All-Conference in 1993 and was a two-year member of the All-Academic Gulf South Conference team.

While basketball was what he coached, Kingston is known for how he truly cares for all of his athletes, supporting them in each of their interests or additional sports. Kingston can often be seen at the various sports events at JHS.

Acutely aware of how academics affects a player’s chances of playing in high school or going on to the next level, Kinston constantly checks on grades, letting players know if they are lagging behind or complementing those that are achieving in the classroom.

Kingston’s philosophy about coaching is one that his players will remember. “Every game is more than just winning and losing. I feel that each game is about competing, executing, and doing your best. Many times you face an opponent that is better than you. However, if you compete, execute and do your best you will have a chance. In sports and in life, all you can ask for is a chance and /or opportunity.”

Kingston said that he too, has grown from coaching. “Coaching has helped me grow in patience with people and my understanding of people. I can relate to every aspect in sports. From a player, parent and now coach, I understand each role better.”

In tending his resignation Kingston was quick to thank those he has worked with over the years. “I would like to thank Mrs. Swift (JHS assistant principal and athletic director), Mr. Newell (JHS Principal), our former Superintendent (Dr. Eric Mackey) and the school board for giving me this opportunity to coach five years ago. Also, I want to thank my wife, Tammy, and my daughter Kira for all their hard work, assistance and support. When you coach you are not doing it alone. I had the support of family, friends, and many great parents. These five years have been some of the most rewarding in my life. I have had the privilege of working with some very good assistant coaches, especially Chris Smith and Derrick Wilson.”

Kingston isn’t completely shutting the door on his coaching career, saying he may be back. “As I have told many people, God opened the door for me to have this opportunity to coach. Furthermore, if it is in His will, I may have the opportunity to coach again some day. I’ll never say I won’t coach again.”
© 2013