MIDDLESBORO — Middlesboro High School Hall of Fame coach, Walter “Walt” Green, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, Mach 28. at the Middlesboro ARH. He was 82-years-old.
Green, who coached the 1965 Kentucky State Runner-up Yellow Jacket team, was inducted into the Middlesboro High School Hall of Fame for his years with the school (1956, 1963-67). Green was also inducted into the Sport’s Hall of Fame in Portsmouth and Corbin, Ky. As a coach, Green had an overall record of 116 wins and only 33 loses.
For many, Green will be remembered for being the first person to coach the Middlesboro Yellow Jackets to a state championship game in 1965.
The team ultimately lost the state championship game to Hokinsville, but beat a Newport Catholic team in the state semi-finals. The Newport Catholic team had five college bound players on the it, according to Jesse Taylor, Green’s assistant coach at the time, and his brother-in-law.
“It was an experience of a lifetime,” stated Taylor about his time as an assistant coach with Green. “Walt (Green) could get 110 percent out of every kid. They just loved him.”
Taylor also stated that Green was very organized during practice. He said that Green had game-plans wrote down from the minute he walked onto the field.
“He would have it just like a lesson plan in a classroom,” said Taylor about how Green conducted football practice.
Green’s excellent knowledge about football should come to no surprise. After graduating from Portsmouth High School in Ohio, Green played football for Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) on an athletic scholarship.
Following his time at EKU, Green received his first coaching job at Pineville High School. He also coached at Bell County High School before making his way to Middlesboro. He then left Middlesboro and moved to Florida for a short time before moving back and coaching at Corbin and Hazard.
Green then returned to coach Middlesboro from 1963-67. He retired from coaching football before the 1968 season.
After years of coaching, Green turned his focus to administration. He was a high school principal at Shelby County for four years. He then worked as a superintendent for Taylor County for 12 years. He retired in 1983.
He was the president of the fourth region superintendent association. He also served as secretary/treasurer, vice-president, and president of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.
After retiring from public school service, Green served as Teacher Education Director of Lincoln Memorial University and Director for Southeast Community and Technical College in Middlesboro.
“He was a work-a-holic,” said Taylor about Green’s work ethic. “He was a fine Christian man.”
Funeral services for Green will be held at 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 30, at the Binghamtown Baptist Church with Dr. William Boyd Bingham presiding.
The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Binghamtown Baptist Church.
For more information, see the obituary on page 5.