During halftime of the varsity contest, Jerry Melton was honored for his years of service with the North Harrison girls' basketball program.
North Harrison eighth-grade girls’ basketball coach Jerry Melton receives a hug from one of his players, Savannah Taylor, after Melton was honored for his work during halftime of the boys’ varsity game Friday night. Photo by Alan Stewart
On Feb. 5, Melton coached his final girls' game. A 25-year basketball career started in 1986 as the seventh-grade girls' basketball coach at North Harrison Middle School. The following year, he coached the same group of girls as eighth-graders; the group lost only one game during the two seasons. Melton went on to coach eighth-grade girls' basketball for the remainder of his career, with the exception of three years as girls' jayvee basketball coach and one year as girls' varsity assistant coach.
Melton picked up his 100th win in 1995. Because four scorebooks could not be located, an exact win-loss record could not be figured. The ones that were still available showed that Melton had at least 251 wins for 21 of his 25 years. He also won the Salem Tournament four times and the Harrison County Junior High Tournament seven times. Melton is also believed to hold the record for most consecutive years coaching at North Harrison in either boys' or girls' basketball.
"This was a complete surprise," Melton said at a reception in his honor after the game. "I had no idea until someone came up to me at halftime and congratulated me because they'd heard I was being honored. This is really special."
Melton said he'll continue to keep the scorebook for the boys' varsity team, a job he's been doing for more than 30 years.