Remembering the glory days

Published 9:51 am Monday, August 18, 2014

Former Bogalusa High School hurdler Kirk Hill recently made a donation to his alma mater.

The 1975 Bogalusa graduate donated a framed team photo of the Lumberjacks state championship team to the school in honor of Gary Magee, who was the coach of that squad.

“When you’re talking about legends, you’re talking about coach Magee and coach (Lewis) Murray.”

Hill said that he figured if he donated the picture, then maybe the children can say that people care about them.

“I hope when the kids see that picture, they see a group of determined and disciplined men,” Hill said. “Coach Magee never had a problem out of anybody on the team. Coach Magee was a father figure to all of us. A lot of us didn’t have a father living in the house with us.”

Hill said the picture has a lot of history in it.

“That picture has guys that were determined,” Hill said. “Coach Magee and coach Murray wanted all of us to be something. Everything I picked up in high school, I instilled in my son (Kyle Hill).”

After graduating from BHS, Hill went to Southern University of Baton Rouge where he graduated f in 1979 with an electrical engineering degree.

He is currently a project engineer at Siemens in Orlando, Fla.

Magee said he has the same picture in his study at home.

“It’s something I see seven days a week,” Magee said. “Kirk was an outstanding kid. When we went to the state meet, I had seven eligible participants. I carried him along just in case one of my hurdlers went down. He could step right in and keep us going in the hurdles or relays. He was always a team player. He and I have a lot of history together. I probably gave him a harder or more difficult time than I gave everybody else.”

Magee coached track, baseball and football at Central from 1960-69 before going to Bogalusa when the schools merged. He coached until 1975. After his coaching career, he went into administration and was BHS’ acting principal in 1985 and the school’s principal from 1990-94.

Magee is currently is the victim assistance coordinator for Washington Parish. He also supervises Bogalusa’s District Attorney’s Office.Besides the track title, he was an assistant for football championships in 1961 and 1969 and a baseball title in 1966.

BHS Athletic Director Ken Martin said Hill is a young man, who is always giving back to the school and the community.

“We certainly appreciate it and we want to put our historical prospective on the Bogalusa High School athletes and start displaying it more,” Martin said.

BHS Principal Lesley McKinley said the donation would help allow this generation of young people to understand the history of Bogalusa High School.

“To let this generation know about the rich tradition of this school, it just speaks volumes of what we can do with this donation,” McKinley said.