Familiar face returns to Mt. Hermon

Published 1:45 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

Mt. Hermon School has named Kelly Alford its girls basketball coach.

“No. 1, I’m excited to come back,” Alford said. “The girls show a lot of promise. I have a daughter that plays on the team. She’s a junior this year. Mt. Hermon is a place that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s where I graduated, it’s where my wife (Misty Alford) graduated and it’s where my dad coached and I just want the kids I coach to have the same experience I had when I was there. I think there is more basketball talent and athletic talent than there has been in years. I watched last year and Cheyenne (Wilson) did a good job, she put in a lot of time with the girls and I didn’t want to see that regress. I think there’s a lot of room for improvement and improvement can be made.”

Alford added that this group has a good mixture of high basketball IQ and ability.

Alford graduated from Mt. Hermon in 1998 and enters his second stint of coaching at Mt. Hermon. He coached the boys basketball team from 2005 to 2013.

Since then, Alford got out of teaching and coaching and has been working in refineries.

Before that he was an assistant coach at Pine in 2004 and 2005.

Alford graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003.

Alford has grown up in the game.

His father B. Alford coached Mt. Hermon School’s boys basketball team for 37 years. Alford’s great grandfather and grandmother coached. His cousin Matthew Lea is the boys basketball coach and plenty of people in his family have played basketball.

“It runs pretty deep,” Alford said. “I’ve got 25, 26 cousins and you were supposed to play basketball.”

Alford said that being in a basketball family is invaluable.

“My daddy has five sisters,” Alford said. “The four years I played at Mt. Hermon, there were going to be at least three of them and they were going to be loud, not disrespectful, but they supported the team, not just when we made a basket, but on offense and defense. In our years, my momma’s parents maybe missed two or three games. When you’ve got support like that, you don’t want to just work for you, but you want to work for them.”

Mt. Hermon Principal Lee Bond had plenty of good things to say about Alford.

“Kelly Alford is a familiar face to Mt. Hermon School and has always been supportive of this community,” Bond said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge of the game to MHS along with a lot of respect. He grew up in Mt. Hermon, is an alumni and coached our high school boys to several successful seasons at MHS. We are excited to have him as part of our Yellow Jacket family.”